Scientific Name: Oenothera laciniata

Common Name: cutleaf evening primrose

Other Common Names: cut-leaved evening-primrose

Synonyms: Raimannia laciniata

Habit: Usually a biennial or a winter annual, but may rarely occur as a summer annual. Cutleaf eveningprimrose has leaves with deeply toothed margins and produces many showy yellow or red flowers. This weed is primarily a weed of landscapes, nurseries, some agronomic crops, and occasionally turfgrass and lawns. Cutleaf eveningprimrose occurs throughout the southern and eastern United States.

Leaves: Cotyledons are egg- or arrowhead-shaped and occur on petioles. Leaves initially develop as a basal rosette. Young leaves have margins that are untoothed (entire), but subsequent leaves have toothed margins. Upper leaf surfaces of young leaves are usually hairy and lower leaf surfaces are without hairs. Mature leaves may have hairs on the upper leaf surfaces but are without hairs below. Leaves are lanceolate in outline, are relatively narrow, and have deeply toothed margins. Leaves have a distinctive white midvein.

Identifying Characteristics: Erect or prostrate plants with lanceolate leaves that have toothed margins, red stems, and yellow or red flowers. Cutleaf eveningprimrose is very similar in appearance to Common Eveningprimrose (<a href='../../weedimg/101'>Oenothera biennis</a>), but common eveningprimrose has untoothed margins and usually grows much more erect than cutleaf eveningprimrose.

Flower Seed Head: The flowers have 4 regular parts and are up to 3 cm wide. They are pale yellow sometimes pink. Flowers are born directly from the main stem (sessile). Blooms first appear in late spring and continue into early fall.

Seed Fruit: A capsule that is approximately 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches long and often curved. Many seed are arranged in rows within the capsule.

Where Found: Cutleaf evening primrose can be found in almost all of North America, east of the Rocky Mountains and some areas west of the Rockies.

  • Life cycle: biennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Onagraceae

  • Leaf arrangement: rosette

  • Leaf shape: lance

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: wavy

  • Stem hairs: has hairs

  • Flower color: red; yellow

  • Growth habit: prostrate and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs

  • Flower diameter: half dollar; nickle; dime; quarter

  • Flower symmetry: bilateral symetry

  • Root structure: taproot

  • Leaf stalk: none