|Oenothera subsp. var.|
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Oenothera (said to be Greek for wine-scenting; in allusion to an ancient use of the roots). Onagraceae. Evening Primrose. Flower-garden and border plants, prized for their showy bright yellow, rose or white flowers.
Herbs, or sometimes shrubby at the base, annual, biennial and perennial, with alternate simple or pin- natisect Lvs. and mostly showy fls., which are yellow, white or rose-color: calyx with a tube prolonged beyond the angled or cylindrical ovary, with 4 usually strongly reflexed lobes; petals 4, mostly obovate or spatulate; stamens 8, with narrow mostly versatile anthers: fr. a 4-valved loculicidal caps.—The oenotheras are mostly dry-soil plants and are chiefly N. American, the known species being perhaps 90-100. Some of them are S. American, and Bentham & Hooker admit 1 plant which grows in Tasmania. The genus is polymorphous, and there is consequently great difference of opinion as to generic bounds. The marked differences reside in form of caps., character of calyx-tube or hypanthium, and in the habit of the plant. What is by some botanists regarded as 1 genus is broken up into 10 or a dozen genera by others. These genera are here treated mostly as subgenera, for the group is fairly homogeneous from the horticultural point of view, and an entirely new set of names in several strange genera could scarcely be forced on the trade, particularly since the botanists are themselves not in agreement. Godetia is kept separate (Vol. III). Some of the true oenotheras make glowing displays of yellow in the border; but the greater number of the species are of only secondary importance to the cultivator. Amongst the best of the border-plant species are OE. fruticosa var. Youngii, OE. linearis, OE. pratensis, OE. glauca var. Fraseri, OE. cespitosa, OE. missouriensis, OE. speciosa. There are numbers of showy species in the genus, and others than those here accounted for may be expected to appear in cult. In recent years, the genus has assumed unusual interest because of the de Vriesian studies of evolution, founded on the mutations or elementary species in the Onagra group.
The oenotheras are of wide distribution in North America. They are open-ground sun-loving plants. Many of them are prominent plants of the prairies and plains. Some of them grow on the seacoasts and others in moist ground, but they are not marsh plants. The several widespread field species, the dead stalks of which, with the split upright pods (Fig. 2566), are conspicuous in pastures and on roadsides, are grouped together in current floras under the name OE. biennis, but show great diversity among themselves. They are not ornamental plants, although the flowers that open first are usually rather large and attractive. The plants of the subgenus Kneiffia afford the sundrops of gardens; these cultivated plants are not well understood botanically, and it is not unlikely that some of them are hybrids or mutants.
There is nothing special to say about the culture of oenotheras except to note the tender kinds and the biennials. All do well in ordinary garden soil, enjoying sunshine. They are easily raised from seeds and cuttings. OE. acaulis, OE. caespitosa are low-growing biennials which do well treated as annuals. They will not endure the winter. OE. missouriensis is an excellent trailer, with enormous yellow flowers and seed vessels. It is quite hardy, and a fine rock-garden plant. OE. biennis, the common evening primrose, is rather weedy, and fit only for the wilder parts of the garden. OE. Lamarckiana is a better form. OE. fruticosa and OE. Fraseri are two of our best border kinds, with stiff branching stems. OE. linearis is a pretty little species, often naturalized but well worth growing. Child's Mexican primrose is tender, but makes a pretty plant for hanging-pots. OE. speciosa is a fine species, it spreads so quickly by underground stems as to become a weed in favorable situations: it is good for naturalizing in wild grounds.
OE. Arendsii, Bowles. Said to be a hybrid of OE. speciosa and OE. rosea, ("OE. speciosa var. rosea") hardier than the former: spreads freely from the base, blooming on the young shoots: fls. large, delicate shade of pink with white eye. Gn. 76, p. 638.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Oenothera (aka Gaura, meaning superb in Greek). Onagraceae. This includes several herbs which are distinct in appearance, but scarcely possess general garden value, although they are pleasant incidents in the hardy border for those who like native plants.
Annual, biennial or perennial plants confined to the warmer regions of N. Amer.: lvs. alternate, sessile or stalked, entire, dentate, or sinuate: fls. white or rose, in spikes or racemes; calyx-tube deciduous, obconical. much prolonged beyond the ovary, with 4 reflexed lobes; petals clawed, unequal; stamens mostly 8. with a small scale-like appendage before the base of each filament; stigma 4-lobed, surrounded by a ring or cup- like border: fr. nut-like, 3^-ribbed, finally 1-celled, and 1—4-seeded.—Species 20-25. The bloom ascends the slender racemes too slowly to make the plants as showy as possible. The best kind is G. lindheimeri, which has white fls. of singular appearance, with rosy calyx-tubes. Gauras are easily prop, by seed. They prefer light soils, and the seedlings can be transplanted directly into permanent quarters. CH
Pests and diseases
About 125, includingwp:
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963