Oenothera evening primrose
Height 90cm (3ft)
Planting distance 30cm (1ft)
Flowers early summer to mid autumn
Most evening primroses are perennials, but one species, Oenothera biennis, is a hardy biennial. Ideal for the back of a border or a wild garden, its pale yellow funnel-shapedopen out in the evening from early summer to mid autumn. The lance-shaped mid-green leaves, arranged in a large rosette on 90cm (3ft) high erect stems, make a perfect foil for the slightly fragrant and shortlived flowers.
If allowed to self-seed, evening primrose spreads like a weed.
Sow the seeds in pots or pans of seed compost in a cold frame in. Prick out the seedlings and grow them on in a nursery bed until mid autumn, when they can be planted out in the flowering position – preferably in ordinary well-drained soil in an open sunny site. Water the plants well in dry weather.
Pests and diseases
Mildew can cause a white powdery coating on the leaves.