Oenothera Biennis

The common name for this native North American flower is sun drop or primrose.  It has been widely naturalized in temperate and subtropical regions including the UK.  This particular flower was growing in the National Landmark Nottingham Serpentine Barrens in Chester County PA.  The poor soil conditions of the nutrient deficient soil of the barrens is well suited for this plant.  It requires dry soil and lots of sunlight and will not grow in shaded areas.   English names for this plant include fever-plant, King’s cure-all and evening primrose.

Parts of this plant are edible and have been used for medicinal purposes.  Primrose oil is used for some medical conditions and is considered a dietary supplement.  Current research has put into double the medical efficacy of Primrose oil, and while generally considered to be safe, adverse effects have been noted including increased frequency of seizures.


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