Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

What would spring in Austin be without pink evening primroses?

with 23 comments

Pink Evening Primrose Flower Center from Side 4749

One of the most familiar and widespread wildflowers of spring in central Texas, Oenothera speciosa, has been hiding out from this blog for the almost two years of its (the blog’s) existence. Bid it (the pink evening primrose) welcome.

The stigma in this species, visible at the left, has four prongs, though at the angle from which I took the picture one prong happened to line up with the one beyond it and is therefore hard to distinguish unless you look carefully. The other cream-colored structures are anthers, on some of which you can see pollen. In the background at the left is another pink evening primrose, out of focus, but with the distinctive cross of its stigma still recognizable.

Date: March 29.  Place: Mueller Greenway in east-central Austin.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 16, 2013 at 6:17 AM

23 Responses

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  1. Good morning! Beautiful! You’ve captured the intricacy of the veining.

    Bonnie Michelle

    April 16, 2013 at 6:28 AM

  2. They are such delicate flowers. When I photograph them, they “white out” and you even captured their veining! Wonderful photo of one of our most common sights this spring.


    April 16, 2013 at 6:28 AM

    • Two votes for veins. If these flowers white out when you photograph them, you can try setting your camera to underexpose by one or two f/stops (assuming your camera lets you do that).

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 16, 2013 at 2:38 PM

  3. A lovely close up, Spring has actually arrived in the Mid Atlantic.


    April 16, 2013 at 10:51 AM

  4. This seems to be a big year for the pink evening primrose in the Houston area; they seem to be all over the place.

    Texas Susan

    April 16, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    • Yes, it does indeed seem to be a good year for this species in various parts of the state. I’m glad yours is one of them.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 16, 2013 at 2:40 PM

  5. Beautiful – Happy Tuesday:)


    April 16, 2013 at 12:29 PM

  6. I have Oenothera in the garden, it is so nice to see its beautiful wild relation.


    April 16, 2013 at 1:33 PM

  7. Wow, now there’s one I wish we had here!


    April 16, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    • I guess it’s time for me to make my annual suggestion of a visit to Texas in the spring. Although I showed an individual flower here, pink evening primroses can form large groups.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 16, 2013 at 10:57 PM

  8. I’ll affirm what Texas Susan said. Every time I think these flowers can’t possibly bloom more prolifically, more patches spring up. To even call them “patches” hardly does them justice. I’ve seen entire lots covered with them, in colors ranging from nearly pure white to almost magenta. I’ve never seen anything like it in all my years in Texas.

    I actually found someone down on the ground in San Leon last week, looking at these with a magnifying glass. Lacking your photo, she was doing her best to absorb all the little details she’d never noticed before!


    April 17, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    • I wish I could see the profusion you’re seeing over near the coast. Here in Austin there are plenty of patches that are a few feet across, but so far this spring I haven’t come across any lots that are covered with pink evening primroses. Maybe I’ll still find one this year, as I have in other years.

      I’m always glad to hear about other people down on the ground taking a close look at what’s out there. I don’t carry a magnifying glass, but my macro lens serves the same purpose.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 17, 2013 at 9:48 AM

  9. I’m seeing these all over San Antonio. Thanks for identifying it for me. Gorgeous photo!

    Alex Autin

    April 17, 2013 at 11:24 AM

  10. Yes, these sweethearts have reemerged in Denton too. They remind me a bit of saffron crocus with their delicate striping and distinctive hearts.


    April 17, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    • For me, the non-gardener, things usually go the other way, from native to other: now I have some idea of what a saffron crocus must look like.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 17, 2013 at 6:19 PM

  11. Magnifique. Une photo pleine de douceurs et de délicatesse.
    J’attends que le printemps s’installe chez moi pour voir les champs fleurir.


    April 18, 2013 at 8:06 AM

  12. […] of on April 24, there were also some groups of prairie verbenas, Glandularia bipinnatifida, and pink evening primroses, Oenothera speciosa, near each other. On one of the verbenas I found a spider that Joe Lapp has […]

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