You know the bloom, unearthly white,
That none has seen by morning light-
The tender moon, alone, may bare
Its beauty to the secret air.
Who'd venture past its dark retreat
Must kneel, for holy things and sweet,
That blossom, mystically blown,
No man may gather for his own
Nor touch it, lest it droop and fall....
Oh, I am not like that at all!
-- Dorothy Parker
My first evening primrose was the yellow Cleland Evening Primrose (see flower on the right). I planted it along my fence and year after year it returned to light up my garden as dusk fell. The flower's common name is derived from the simple fact that it blooms as light falls rather than like many flowers which follow the sun. My father's favorite evening primrose is the Whitest Evening Primrose which he calls the Colorado Evening Primrose as it can be found throughout the state as one hikes the lower elevations of the Rockie Mountains.
The evening primrose is native to North and South America. It belongs to the genus Oenothera, which is Greek for "donkey catcher." Perhaps donkeys have a fondness for the plant, I don't know, but I do know that the plant is edible and high in a variety of healthy essential fatty acids. I use evening primrose oil to relieve skin inflammation and itchiness.
Evening primroses make great models for beaded flowers. Their broad petals are easy to fashion and the variety and subtlety of colors are fun to simulate. Here's my version of a Missouri Evening Primrose.
The Showy Evening Primrose has pink edges and transitions gradually to yellow towards the center. I used a 26 gauge red-colored copper wire at the time I made it, but I think I will give it another go with some pink Artistic Wire from Beadalon to better blend the wire with the beads.
Photo credit goes to Larry Sanders.