Mexican Evening PrimroseOenothera speciosa
|Size||3' x 1'|
The showy, semi-evergreen is admired for its magnificent pink, four-petal, bell-shaped flowers. It spreads in the landscape by underground rhizomes or seed to form extensive colonies growing from eight to twelve inches tall, and spreading to three feet. The leaves are small and bright green turning crimson to deep red in colder weather. Showy, pink blossoms with yellow veins appear in spring and bloom over a long period. Many insects and moths eat the flower nectar. This plant is resistant to deer, though the seeds attract birds and other smaller rodents. Varieties are also available with white and yellow flowers. Use it as a mass planting in perennial or rock gardens, for erosion control or as a ground stabilizer. The plant is native to Texas, southern New Mexico, and Mexico but has naturalized elsewhere in the United States. In its native habitat it grows in open meadows, pastures, hillsides, and slopes, and at the edges of woodland areas.
In winter, this groundcover freezes to the ground in temperatures below twenty degrees Fahrenheit, but recovers quickly in the spring. It grows best in full sun with regular irrigation and moisture, but does not like to be over-watered. Mexican evening primrose prefers amended, rich soils that are well-draining. This groundcover grows aggressively and sometimes can be difficult to eradicate. Prune it back in spring as needed to control its size.