Oenothera speciosa is a species of evening primrose known by several common names, including pinkladies, pink evening primrose, showy evening primrose, Mexican primrose, and amapola.
It is a herbaceous perennial wildflower native to 28 of the lower 48 U.S. states (Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, the Carolinas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia) as well as Chihuahua and Coahuila in Mexico. It frequently escapes from gardens. The specific name, speciosa, means "showy".
The plant's wild habitat includes rocky prairies, open woodlands, slopes, roadsides, meadows and disturbed areas. While it makes an attractive garden plant, care should be taken with it as it can become invasive, spreading by runners and seeds. This drought-resistant plant prefers loose, fast-draining soil and full sun.
The pink primrose has glaborous (smooth) to pubescent stems that grow to 50 cm (20 in) in height. The pubescent leaves are alternate with very short or no petiole (sessile), reaching 10 cm (4 in) long to 4 cm (1 1⁄2 in) broad. They are variable in shape, from linear to obovate, and are toothed or wavy-edged. It produces single, four-petaled, cup-shaped flowers on the upper leaf axils. These fragrant shell-pink flowers bloom throughout the summer into early autumn. The 1 1⁄2–2 in (4–5 cm) flowers start out white and grow pink as they age.
The flower throats, as well as the stigmas and stamens, have a soft yellow color. It blooms both day and night, but typically in the pre-dawn hours, closing when the full sun hits them. They bloom from March to July, and occasionally in the fall. The flowers are frequented by several species of insect, but moths are the most common as the flowers are mostly open at night.
- Oenothera speciosa var. berlandieri (Spach) Munz
- Oenothera speciosa var. childsii (L.H. Bailey) Munz
- Oenothera speciosa var. speciosa
The pink evening primrose is used in the temperate latitudes as an ornamental plant. However, it does not survive a severe winter. It is a ground cover. With the USDA climates 4 to 9, the pink evening primrose in most areas of Central Europe should be sufficiently hardy. The green plant parts can be cooked or eaten as a salad; Harvested is possible before flowers develop, because then the taste is pleasant.
Pollen magnified 200x
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- "Oenothera speciosa". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- "Oenothera speciosa Nutt.". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 7 December 2014 – via The Plant List.
- "Oenothera speciosa". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
- Jelitto / Schacht / Feßler: The outdoor jewelry shrubs . Ulmer, Stuttgart 1985, ISBN 3-8001-6156-7 .
- Tveten, Gloria; Tveten, John (1993). Wildflowers of Houston & Southeast Texas. Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-78151-1.
- Tenaglia, Dan. "Oenothera speciosa page". Missouri Plants. Missouri Botanical Garden.