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Oenothera macrocarpa

Oenothera macrocarpa, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids II
Ordo: Myrtales

Familia: Onagraceae
Subfamilia: Onagroideae
Tribus: Onagreae
Genus: Oenothera
Sectio: O. sect. Megapterium
Species Oenothera macrocarpa

Oenothera macrocarpa Nutt. (1813)

Megapterium macrocarpum (Nutt.) R.R.Gates, 1(4): 402. 1915 publ. 1914.


Nuttall, T. 1813: Catalogue of New and Interesting Plants Collected in Upper Louisiana no. 56.
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. [1]

Oenothera macrocarpa (syn. Oenothera missouriensis), the bigfruit evening primrose,[1] Ozark sundrop or Missouri evening primrose, is a species of flowering plant in the evening primrose family Onagraceae, native to Mexico and the south-central United States, where it is found in calcareous prairies and limestone outcrops.[2]


This herbaceous perennial produces a red stem 6–12 in. (15–30 cm) in height. The large (3 inch) wide flowers are cup shaped, canary yellow and have a mild fragrance. They are produced in great numbers from early to mid summer. Leaves are dark green and lanceolate, and bunched along the trailing stem. The seed pods are 4-winged and 2 to 3 inch long.

The seed pods are often used in flower arrangements. This plant is also grown in gardens for its flowers.[3][4] It is suitable as a groundcover in poor, stony soil which does not become waterlogged in winter, in full sun. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.[5][6]

There are five commonly accepted varieties. These are:

O. macrocarpa var. fremontii - restricted to Kansas and southern Nebraska[7]
O. macrocarpa var. incana - southern Kansas, western Oklahoma and northern Texas
O. macrocarpa var. macrocarpa - the most widespread; Texas to the Ozark Mountains, with disjunct populations in Tennessee's Nashville Basin[8]
O. macrocarpa var. mexicana - known only from Coahuila, Mexico[9]
O. macrocarpa var. oklahomensis - southern Kansas, Oklahoma and northern Texas


USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Oenothera macrocarpa". The PLANTS Database ( Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
Shinners and Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas Online
Missouri Botanical Garden
"Perennial Resource: Oenothera missouriensis". Archived from the original on 2012-03-17. Retrieved 2011-03-15.
"RHS Plantfinder - Oenothera macrocarpa". Retrieved 14 April 2018.
"AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 69. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Oenothera macrocarpa". The PLANTS Database ( Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
Chester, Edward (2015). Guide to the Vascular Plants of Tennessee.
Wagner, Warren; Hoch, Peter; Raven, Peter (2007). "Revised Classification of the Onagraceae". Systematic Botany Monographs. 83. JSTOR i25027967.

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