Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Stemless Evening Primrose
Lavauxia triloba

Family: Onagraceae (on-uh-GRAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lavauxia
Species: triloba (try-LO-buh) (Info)

Synonym:Oenothera triloba

4 members have or want this plant for trade.


under 6 in. (15 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 13 photos.
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8 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive davidlnorman On Jan 30, 2013, davidlnorman from BARBEAU, MI wrote:

This plant was raised in my Mothers garden, with great success from the early 1950's to the late 1990's when she passed away. She gardened in Plymouth, Mi 48170.
I have raised this plant in the Barbeau, Mi. 49710 area off and on since the 1970's. We didn't know the correct name of this plant until now. It had been called the, "desert flower" by my family. My sister gardens in the Plymouth, Mi. 48170 area, and has obtained seeds for the plant, and will start them soon. This plant has been a constant source of amusement for the children in our family for years. My experience with the plant in Barbeau, indicates that it reseeds, and does not over winter unless we have a very consistent, deep snow cover.

Positive KatCSimms On Jul 12, 2012, KatCSimms from Wayne, MI wrote:

I've had this plant in my flower bed for about 15 years now. Fun to watch open, have shared the experience with many people, including family & neighbors. They come back every year here in Michigan

Positive hatman On Mar 26, 2012, hatman from Lake Dalecarlia, IN wrote:

This plant is totally hardy in NW Indiana. My original one survived over winter in 2002 outside in a 4 inch pot. This is one of the coolest flowers you will have in your garden. Watching them open their flowers at sunset will be something you'll never forget. They grow great in a sunny area with good drainage. Be sure you plant them in a spot where you want them to be permanently because they form a taproot, and can't be moved later. Educate your family about them because they look pretty much like dandelions when they are not in bloom, and may get become collateral damage by those with good intentions.

Positive nickelnog On Jun 12, 2011, nickelnog from Raleigh, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Appeared at the edge of my sound front lawn here on Bogue Banks after I put drip line in. Grew amazingly fast. Four pale yellow petals appear like 8, since they are more lobed than photos here. Blossoms completely closed by morning. Looks pretty weedy during the day but lovely at sunset and evening. Wish I could move it though.

Positive vicif On Oct 21, 2010, vicif from Laingsburg, MI wrote:

i have at this plant for years in the middle of michigan. we have cold winters and it comes back every year. it is so imteresting to watch it open up in the evening. slow down, get a glass of your favorite beverage, take out a chair, sit down and watch them shake and shake and then open. it's a great experience that i have shared with all my neighbors and friends.

Positive altagardener On Mar 7, 2008, altagardener from Calgary, AB (Zone 3b) wrote:

Hardy in zone 3; fascinating to watch the flowers open at dusk. Seeds are embedded at ground level in the base of the plant, as the flower stems are actually extremely elongated styles.

Positive smhscholz On Jul 6, 2007, smhscholz from Erie, PA wrote:

I love this plant. As children, my siblings and I used to wait and watch the flowers open every summer. I was thrilled to find it again as an adult--it is not sold in stores. Plant it where you sit in the evenings so you can watch the flowers open. They last only one night. Don 't deadhead so they reseed. They don't transplant well because they have a long taproot like a dandelion. Actually the leaves look almost identical to a dandelion so you have to be careful you don't mistake it for a dandelion and weed it. I grow transplants in peat pots so you can plant the whole thing without disturbing the taproot.

Positive htop On Mar 18, 2007, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Stemless Evening Primrose (Oenothera triloba) is a native plant and is a threatened species in Kentucky. It has become extinct in Indiana. In Texas, Stemless Evening Primrose can be found in clay or dry limestone soils of the Blackland Praire, Rolling Plains and Edwards Plateau Regions in dry open areas with drained soil such as barrens, prairies, floodplains, slopes, hillsides, rock outcrops in fields and grassy areas. It is a frequent lawn invader. The plant forms a rosette shape like a dandelion with broadly lobed leaves low to the ground. Because it is very low growing (usually 8 inches tall or less), it withstands mowing very well. The up to 4.5cm (1.75 ") wide flowers are bright yellow when they open about half an hour before sunset. When they close about noon the following day, their color has faded to a pale yellow. If you observe them opening, you will be surprised. They go from buds that resemble little okra pods to flowers in about a minute. This is so fast that you actually can see them move. The seedpods form at the base of the flower stem and are hidden in the foliage at ground level. They resemble tiny pinecones. Deer resistant is high. This hardy perennial is a good plant for rock gardens.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Oak Lawn, Illinois
Lowell, Indiana
Barbeau, Michigan
Laingsburg, Michigan
Warren, Michigan
Wayne, Michigan
Madbury, New Hampshire
North Tonawanda, New York
Salter Path, North Carolina
Maumee, Ohio
Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania
Erie, Pennsylvania
Austin, Texas
Dallas, Texas (2 reports)
Dripping Springs, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Hondo, Texas
Kerrville, Texas (2 reports)
San Antonio, Texas (3 reports)
Santo, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Hustisford, Wisconsin
Waukesha, Wisconsin

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