Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com)

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Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) Photo by Renee Lindstrom

Also known as:  Evening Star,  Butter Rose, Cowslip, Fever Plant & King’s Cure-all, Sun Cup

Uses: Culinary, Medicinal, Tea

Parts used: Seeds, Flowers, Leaves, Stems, Roots

Preparation:  Cosmetics, Essential Oil, Flower Essence, Infused Honey & Oils, Recipes, Tinctures









  • Symbolizes:   Life of Fulfillment
  • Language of Flowers: Fickleness, faithlessness, sweet memories
  • Associated with: Protection, Love & Luck
  • Chakras:  Root, Sacral & Heart
  • Element:  Water
  • Governed by:  Moon
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All parts of the evening Primrose can be integrated into ones diet.  The roots can be eaten raw or cooked as a vegetable.  They grow large and are similar in appearance to parsnips and can be cooked like potatoes, carrots or parsnips.  One can add them fresh or dried to soups and , stews.  The leaves can be added to salad or steamed if tough and flowers can be added to salads and used as garnish or decoration on cakes, custards and puddings.

The seed pods can be roasted or when dried the seeds inside can be ground and added to smoothies, shakes, cereals, breads, muffins, etc.

Health & Wellness

“A study by the Highland Psychiatric Research Group at the Draig Dunain Hospital, Inverness, Scotland, found that evening primrose encouraged regeneration of liver cells damaged by alcohol consumption. Other researchers think it may also prevent alcoholic poisoning, hangovers, postdrink depression and alcohol withdrawal. It is thought to stop alcohol from damaging brain cells by bolstering them with unsaturated fats”  Herbalpedia

  • Evening Primrose has:
    • protein
    • carbohydrates
    • beta carotene
    • calcium
    • potassium
    • vitamin B3
    • Omega-6
    • amino acid tryptophan
    • bioflavonoid quercetin
  • Herbal Actions:
    • Gentle Sedative & Mood Enhancer – relaxing, grounding and uplifting
    • Anti-spasmodic – PMS cramping
    • Endocrine System  – relaxing
    • First Aid – bruised cuts, scratches, bug bites & stings
    • Digestion – stimulant, cooling & healing inflammation
    • Eczema & Rosacea – used topically
    • Hair Growth – used topically
  • Nutrition (per 1/2 cup):
    • Protein: 2.4 g
    • Carbs 7.3 g
    • Calcium 140 mg
    • Potassium 410 mg
    • Beta Carotene 4000 ug
    • Niacin 700  ug
  • Early North American uses:
    • Ojibwa – poultice for bruises
    • Cherokee – root tea to lose weight
    • Shakers – poultice for wounds & leave or root tea for upset stomach
  • Folklore:
    • increase desirably to potential lovers & friends – infuse into bath for encouraging inner beauty to shine through
    • Magical use in spells for increasing success in achieving ones goals


Growing Evening Primrose

The flower of the Evening Primrose may open before dusk, however the scent of the flower is not released until evening.  It is Native to Canada and the United States.  It is a self seeder so it can be found growing in full sun along rocky roads, in meadows, on dunes and beaches.  It has been naturalized in parts of Europe by Early Settlers transporting seeds back as early as 1614.  I have started mine by seed in the Spring as starters and transplanted them.  They seem to be hardy and though they enjoy full sun, these pictured above are growing in partial shade and are 1 year bloomers (unusual).  I would consider now starting them later in summer or early fall to have them come up as second year plants in spring.

Buy Canadian Evening Primrose Seeds

More Edible Garden Plants 



Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.