Evening Primrose Oil

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Evening Primrose Oil

Beitragvon karldeville » 9. Sep 2017, 04:18

Oenothera is named for an herb to induce sleep described in Historia Naturalis, a work compiled by the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder (A.D. 23-79) that remained a standard reference for many centuries. The common name, evening primrose, reflects this plant's habit of blooming just at sundown, as evening begins. Its species name, biennis, means "lasting for two years" - another habit of this herb.

The genus Oenothera embraces about eighty species of herbs, mostly sun-loving, widely distributed throughout the Western Hemisphere. Evening primrose oil favors dry sunny soils of meadows, roadside edges, and other waste places from Newfoundland to British Columbia, south to Florida and Texas, and west to Idaho. It grows erect, up to eight feet tall, on sturdy, hairy pithy stems bearing numerous alternate lance-shaped leaves.

The familiar four-petaled yellow flowers of this biennial plant appear in the second year of growth, blooming from June through October in the North-east. The large and often showy blooms with their drooping sepals and X-shaped stigmas open on cloudy days or just before or at sunset for the evening pollinators. The blossoms have slight phosphorescence acquired from absorbing and storing up sunlight during the day; on a dark night the petals emit their own faint light. This unique attribute was well noticed by our ancestors.

A medley of common names from different regions speaks of multiple uses for this trusted healing plant. Sometimes called night willow herb, sundrops, coffee or fever plant, scurvish or scabbish, evening primrose is also known as tree primrose, large rampion, four o'clock, and king's cure-all.


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