Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Oenothera pallida
pale evening-primrose

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to Arizona, east to the Rocky Mountains and Texas.

Habitat: Dry, sandy or gravelly soil, commonly on dunes at low elevations.

Flowers: May-July (September-October)

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Biennial, Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bees, moths


Rhizomatous perennial with whitish bark, the stems 1-5 dm. tall, simple or freely-branched basally, very leafy, glabrous or grayish with appressed hairs.


Leaves alternate, liner to liner-lanceolate, 2-6 cm. long and up to 5 mm. broad, entire to serrate, occasionally with 1 or more basal lobes, narrowed to broad petioles 5-15 mm. long.


Flowers fragrant, in leafy spikes, the buds nodding; calyx tube 1.5-3.5 cm. long, pink to purplish, the 4 lobes reflexed, 1-4 cm. long, fused and turned to one side; petals 1.5-3 cm. long, white, aging pinkish, obovate; stamens 8, equal to the petals; stigma with 4 linear lobes 4-6 mm. long; ovary inferior, 4-celled.


Capsule liner, 2-3 mm. thick at the base, tapering to the tip, 1.5-3.5 cm. long, arched.

Accepted Name:
Oenothera pallida Lindl.
Publication: Bot. Reg. 14: t. 1142. 1828.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Oenothera pallida in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Oenothera pallida checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Oenothera pallida information.

E-Flora BC: Oenothera pallida atlas page.

CalPhotos: Oenothera pallida photos.

USDA Plants: Oenothera pallida information.

55 photographs:
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