Still not milkweed — Evening primrose

Evening primrose rosette
Evening primrose rosette
Evening primrose flowers
Evening primrose flowers

When these leafy rosettes  showed up last May, I knew they looked familiar, but I wasn’t sure why.  They came up where I had planted butterfly weed seeds, so could that be it? Or maybe even milkweed? Then I remembered they look familiar because I get them every year and always forget what they are. Meanwhile, they kept get taller and taller, taller than me. I have to look up at the bright yellow flowers on the top rosettes. And now that they’re finally flowering, I know what it is.

It’s Evening primrose, Oenothera biennis. They flower in the evening, lasting until the next morning. Since I haven’t seen any bees on them, I was all ready to cut them down, but then I read that goldfinches eat their seeds. And that they attract beneficial insects because so many pests feed on them.  And they are pollinated by sphinx moths and hummingbird moths. I did see a very strange looking moth this morning.

Now I have to go moth hunting.

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