Oenothera biennis   Evening Primrose D I

Oenothera biennis

This European introduction positively prefers waste places and you can find it happily growing amongst the rubble on a demolition site , a neglected wayside or in a rubbish dump. It also often grows by the sea.

The Oenothera genus is complicated because of a special phenomenon during reproduction where the formation of translocation heterozygotes means there could be many plants each with different genetic make-up. This could in theory mean that many different species could exist within the genus so the separation into just a few species with recognisably different visible characters is a necessary sort of compromise but one not necessarily actually reflected in the genetics.

Common in England, records for O. biennis reduce dramatically as you travel north or west. There is little to be found in Scotland or Ireland and in Wales it is mostly by the sea.

Great Orme, North Wales, 23rd August 2001

Added on January 30th 2005, updated 20th January 2011

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