Pale Evening Primrose

Oenothera pallida

The Pale Evening Primrose 4

The pale evening primrose, scientifically known as the Oenothera pallida, is a flower that has many common names and uses. Though the pale evening primrose is overlooked, this flower has been used to treat many diseases and bodily issues and helps the local ecology by feeding bees.
For this four-petaled and hairless flower, there are many common names, such as sun cups, sun drops, innocence, white buttercup and white evening primrose(MacDonald)(Shoot). The main color of this flower is white and in the center, it is a light shade of yellow. Once the flower has fully matured, the flower begins to develop a pinkish tone(The American Southwest). As for height, the pale evening primrose can reach up to three feet when watered correctly and the flower itself can be up to three inches in diameter. The leaves of this plant are narrow and oval shaped and they have gently jagged or lobed edges. The leaves can be as long as four inches(The American Southwest).
The habitat for this flower is in semi-desert locations, such as Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. It is also native to those places(USDA). As for landscape, the locations are commonly sandy and rocky(Ky Keon). Since this flower is perennial, the seasons that this flower grows are April, May and June(USDA). Another fact about the pale evening primrose is that it helps bees by feeding them(MacDonald).
Throughout the years, the pale evening primrose has been used to treat and create many remedies. This plant has been so useful, that it has been a “well known food supplement since the early 1980’s”(Keys2Liberty). All of the parts of this flower are used to treat something. For example, the root and the poultice is used as treatment to apply on spider bites and bruises(Ky Keon). A syrup made from the flower itself is a common medicine for whooping cough(Keys2Liberty). The pale evening primrose is also linked to helping kidney disease by the Navajo and Kayenta tribes(Ky Keon)(BRIT). This flower also has many ceremonial uses for these Native American tribes. Other illnesses that the pale evening primrose can treat include: eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, liver damage created by alcohol, obesity, pre-menstrual tensions and bowel pains. It can also treat acne and brittle nails(Keys2Liberty). Overall, this plant has many medical and ceremonial uses to our society.

Josephine, Menaul High School

Works Cited
BRIT - Native American Ethnobotany Database,
Macdonald, Mark. “How to Grow Oenothera | Pale Evening Primrose.” West Coast Seeds, 20 June 2015,
“Oenothera Pallida 'Pale Evening Primrose' 300+ SEEDS.” Kykeon Plants,
“Plants Profile for Oenothera Pallida (Pale Evening Primrose).” Welcome to the PLANTS Database | USDA PLANTS, symbol=OEPA.
Shoot. “Oenothera Pallida 'Innocence' Albicaulis Var. Pale Evening Primrose
Southwest, The American. “Oenothera Pallida, Pale Evening Primrose.” Frijoles Canyon - View South: Tyuonyi Overlook Trail, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico,
“Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants #35 – Evening Primrose.” Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants, 6 Oct. 2012,

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Matt Lavin, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  2. (c) Matt Lavin, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  3. (c) Matt Lavin, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  4. Adapted by albuquerqueherbalism from a work by (c) josephine27, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

More Info

Range Map

iNat Map

Color white