Softly in the twilighl the four silken petals of the evening primrose moved apart from the tapered formation of the bud and with a silken sound they lay open to the moths of dusk. All day the long-tubed yellow buds were tightly shut, hut towards late afternoon there was a visible swelling, a puffiness. As sunset came and a softer light spread over the roadsides, the buds quivered, the calyx skin parted soundlessly, and in a minute or two the flower had opened. In comparatively few flowers can the actual parting of the hud and the opening of the petals be observed. In the primrose it is rapid, it is impressive.
Oenothera biennis L.
Summer Roadsides. fields.
The plant of the evening primrose is downy and grey-green, a sloutish stem growing from strong fleshy roots. It is a biennial plant - it grows from seed the first year, blooms the second year, then dies when frosts come. The leaves are grey-green, soft, widely toothed, attached alternately to the stalk. From axils of the leaves spring the buds, which also are densely clustered at the top of the stalk. They are of many sizes, so that their blooming covers a long period in summer. Bach day two or three flowers bloom, last until the hot sun hits them next morning, and hang drooped and finished. By evening more buds have grown large enough to bloom. They are fertilized by night-flying moths which. are attracted to the paleness of the light yellow flowers as they gleam in the dusk. The flower is a1 the end of a long tube above the ovary where seeds form, is four-parted, has eight, powdery white stamens and a pistil with four spreading divisions. It is found commonly along country roads and in waste places, blooms from June to October, and is widely scattered throughout the countryside.