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Beginner Gardening Questions: Need help to identify and find this plant.

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Forum: Beginner Gardening QuestionsReplies: 3, Views: 88
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serenaski
Traverse City, MI
(Zone 6a)

June 3, 2012
7:33 AM

Post #9150105

I first got this plant from a kind local gardener who was thinning her gardens, I thought she called it an Evening Primrose, however I have tried multiple searches under that name and cannot find it. I am in Traverse City, MI, recently changed from zone 5 to zone 6 by the Dept. of Agriculture.

My problem is that mine all died last winter and I miss them terribly. I also have lost the contact information for the person who gave them to me about 3 or 4 years ago. From the first year I planted one it bloomed beautifully, then came back the next year with a couple friends and all again bloomed and spread again, the year before last I moved some of the extras to another location where they came up well and bloomed last summer. But this year none of them have returned, I fear that our overly mild winter did them in, because I had never protected them in previous years when we actually had low temps and lots of snow.

I am not even completely sure that they were the same plants coming back or if it was reseeding itself, but I really did think it was a perennial. The pictures of the Missouri Primroses look like the same or a similar bloom, but this one had stalks that had multiple blooms instead of the single blooms that I have seen. Maybe it is the same plant with a different habit depending on location?

If anyone can tell me what they are, and how I can keep them alive for more than a few years I would be very grateful. Do you think it was our non-winter weather winter that killed them or did they require some special care that I neglected?

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ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 3, 2012
11:34 AM

Post #9150329

It is an evening primrose (Oenothera species) It might be O. biennis, which is a biennial which means it'll typically grow one year, bloom the next, then die. I haven't grown this one, but I've found some things that are supposed to be biennials can sometimes end up being a shorter-lived perennial and come back and bloom at least a couple years in a row instead of truly being biennial. So it probably wasn't winter or anything you did wrong that made them die, they were just done with their life cycle. I would look around near where you were growing it though, it could have reseeded which means you'd have some plants growing this year that should bloom next year. If you like the look of O. missouriensis it should be perennial in your zone and come back for more years so you might try it instead.
O. biennis: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/71989/
serenaski
Traverse City, MI
(Zone 6a)

June 3, 2012
6:45 PM

Post #9150814

Thanks so much, I will try the O. missouriensis.
teko
Brillion, WI

June 7, 2012
2:26 PM

Post #9156083

I'm in NE Wisconsin (5a?) and have had evening primrose for at least five years.
They've actually become invasive. They may be reseeding, but they only come up in one place...one large place that's larger every year. The flowers are beautiful, but this year the undergrowth has dried up. We really need some rain here!

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