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Birdcage Evening Primrose

Oenothera deltoides

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Birdcage Evening Primrose (Oenothera deltoides) at Pender Pines Garden Center

Birdcage Evening Primrose in bloom

Birdcage Evening Primrose in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  8 inches

Flower Height:  12 inches

Spacing:  12 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  8b

Other Names:  Desert Primrose, Dune Primrose, Devil's Lantern


This interesting variety produces masses of fragrant white flowers that mature to light pink; tolerant of hot dry conditions; prefers sandy soil; after flowering, the branches dry and curl up to form a cage

Ornamental Features

Birdcage Evening Primrose has masses of beautiful lightly-scented white cup-shaped flowers with shell pink overtones and yellow eyes along the stems from early to mid spring, which emerge from distinctive pink flower buds, and which are most effective when planted in groupings. Its serrated narrow leaves remain olive green in color throughout the season.

Landscape Attributes

Birdcage Evening Primrose is an herbaceous perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a high maintenance plant that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spreading

Birdcage Evening Primrose is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Birdcage Evening Primrose will grow to be about 8 inches tall at maturity extending to 12 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 14 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 12 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a fast rate, and tends to be biennial, meaning that it puts on vegetative growth the first year, flowers the second, and then dies. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in sandy soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is native to parts of North America. It can be propagated by division.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Rock  Edging  Garden  Naturalizing 
Ornamental Features