Monday, September 12, 2011

Planting and Growing Sundrops

Also known as Narrowleaf Evening Primrose or Oenothera fruticosa, the Sundrops perennial is an easy-to-grow drought-tolerant plant that attracts songbirds and hummingbirds. It is a common wildflower in the United States.

Plant Description

Growing up to three feet high with erect stems and yellow flowers, a sundrops plant is an herbaceous perennial.  Stems are hairy and have a reddish hue. Flowers are clear yellow with an orange stamen and moderately green leaves that will turn red after it gets cold. The leaves are oval, toothed, and also hairy. Flowers are in racemes, usually between three and ten at the branch edge.

Growing Guide

Grow the sundrops in full sun or partial shade with a wet or dry soil. Propagate by seeds in the fall, by root division in the spring, or stem tip cuttings also in the spring. It has a USDA hardiness range of 4 through 8. It does well in acidic soil.


  • Cherokee Indians once ate the leaves after boiling and then cooking in hot grease. 
  • Of the 125 species of evening primrose, many are weeds and only six are popular as a garden flower.
  • It is a flower on Connecticut’s Species of Special Concern list.


This flower does very good as a border plant or for edging. With the delicate nature of the plant, it really stands out in rock gardens. With the new-found interest in native gardening, the sundrops is getting attention as a low maintenance plant. It will die to the ground come winter but will rise again in the spring. Another use for it is for bringing hummingbirds to the landscape.

This flower, while a wildflower, looks great cultivated in a garden bed. The yellow on the flower looks like sunshine with its brightness. Bringing native species into your garden can help you increase the likelihood that native wildlife can survive.




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