Monday, September 29, 2014

Newly Discovered Old Plants: Lespedeza and Evening Primrose

Every year I discover plants new to me growing in the wild. They've been somewhere nearby all the time; they just turn up in new places or I notice them in a different light.

I'm pretty sure I never saw Lespedeza virginica growing in the meadows before.

I might have missed the Lespedeza had I not gone across the meadow to look at this clump of Eupatorium. Then I was so excited to find Lespedeza I forgot to make more pics of the Eupatorium.

This is the only clump I saw in several acres of meadow.

Lespedeza, a legume.

The seeds are eaten by game birds, particularly Bobwhite Quail.

On the way out the gate, I saw Evening Primrose in the ditches on each side of the dirt road. I've seen these yellow flowers before but never paid much attention to them. Evening Primrose to me is the low growing pink flowers seen in the median of the four lane highways between here and T'ville, planted by the DOT.

A closer look showed a tall plant, lying on the 
ground. It was probably 5' tall.

Oenothera biennis, Evening Primrose

The heart shaped leaves belong to morning glory, sharing
the ditch.

There is another little primrose, Sundrops, that grows throughout the meadow.

You can read about various cultivars of the Oenothera tribe Here. 


  1. Oh, I would love to wander through your meadow! I just planted Eupatorium in my garden, and I am hoping it will produce some offspring, though I certainly do not have meadow-like conditions.

  2. Your meadow has such sweet flowers. What a joy it must be to find different ones growing there.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  3. I saw some incredible Lespedezas at the Chicago Botanic garden. They made me think about this plant in a whole new way, though I'm guessing they were a hybrid variety. I'm posting about it tomorrow.

  4. The tall evening primrose grows readily along the edges of the woods and the sides of the roads here. The sight of them gladdens my morning walks. (Once when I was on a garden tour with a Japanese friend and there were evening primroses blooming in one garden, she asked me what the English name for the plant was and explained, "In Japanese, it's called 'the flower that shows its face to the moon.'" I was completely charmed by the description. -Jean

  5. I like that: "the flower that shows its face to the moon.

    I guess we could call Brugmansia 'the flower that shows its skirts to the moon.' They droop so in the day and then open at night with that incredible fragrance.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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