Oenothera caespitosa

Latin Name: Oenothera caespitosa
Common Name: White Tufted Evening Primrose
Mature Height (ft): 6-12"
Mature Width: 12-18"

Mature Shape

Low, spreading.
Mulch: Inorganic.

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Drought tolerant perennial with white cup shaped blooms usually found growing in poor soils. I planted it in heavily amended soil, and I think it was too rich for it. It was eaten up during the heat of the summer by flea beetles. I thought the too rich soil was the cause; however, Judith Phillips in Plants For Natural Gardens, wrote about this same occurrence in native soils. Phillips hypothesized this may be a way for tufted evening primrose to escape summer’s heat. However, my plant died, rather than just going to ground.

It’s alluring blooms are worth the effort of trying in a leaner location. As are the other Oenotheras, white tufted is an evening to morning bloomer. It's a favorite of the pollinator hawkmoth, but is also a food source for it's larva.


Use in Garden

Sunny xeric bed or border. Native plant garden. Habitat garden. Dry rock garden.

O. Caespitosa pairs well with most native garden plants such as priaire verbena, globemallows, prairie zinnias, penstemons, yuccas, Salvia greggii, and agaves.


Little maintenance. Cut back after flowering iw the leaves become ragged due to flea beetles or hawkmoth larva.