Onagraceae / Evening-Primrose
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Lore: Native Americans rubbed the root on athletes to give them strength.(Foster & Duke)
Medical Uses: The plant contains an astringent mucilage that modern herbalist use in cough remedies. Externally the plant has been use to treat sores and various skin conditions. Published studies indicate that the oil might be useful in treating atopic eczema or eczema caused by allergy. Another investigation suggests that the oil might help people suffering from atopic conditions such as asthma and might alleviate migraines. Still another study shows that the plant may prevent blood clots.(Dobelis) Researchers have found that plant extracts and improve abnormalities in fatty acids in prostaglandin production.(Foster & Duke)
Similar Species: Largeflower Evening-primrose (Oenothera grandiflora has
flowers to about 10cm (4") wide. It's native range is limited to the coastal plane of Alabama but has escaped from
Cutleaf Evening-primrose, Oenothera laciniata has deep cuts at the base of the leaves and the plant usually branches near the base. and only reaches about 70cm (28") in height.
Seabeach Evening-primrose (Oenothera humifusa) is similar to above but the upper stem and leaves are hairy and it is found in coastal areas from Florida and to New Jersey.
Stemless Evening-Primrose, Oenothera triloba has almost no upright stem.
Other Oenotheras know as Sundrops bloom during the day.
One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.
This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.
Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves