Oenothera brachycarpa is an almost acaulescent evening primrose with bright yellow flowers and a four-parted stigma. The leaves are shallowly lobed. The capsules are winged. Oenothera brachycarpa is found on the roadside at middle to upper elevation.
Martin and Hutchins 1980, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Perennial, acaulescent or nearly so with canescent herbage. Leaves: Lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate blades, 4-15 cm long, 10-20 mm wide, entire to sinuate-pinnatifid, petioled. Flowers: In the axils of the uppermost leaves, hypanthium 5-15 cm long, sepals 30-50 mm long; petals yellow, 30-60 mm long, becoming orange-red in age. Fruits: Capsule 25-30 mm long, ovoid to ellipsoid, sometimes attenuate to the apex, winged for the entire length. Ecology: Found on dry rocky slopes; 4,000-7,000 ft (1219-2134 m); flowers May-July. Distribution: s NV, AZ, NM, s TX, KS; south to c MEX. Notes: Distinguished from the vegetatively similar O. caespitosa by the shorter stem, such that the plant is more of a distinct basal rosette in O. brachycarpa, while in the former it elongates and forms a much larger rosette. But when in flower the yellow flowers of O. brachycarpa distinguish it clearly from the white petals of the former and the hypanthium of 5-15 mm distinguishes it from other yellow-flowered species. The fact that it is a perennial, pubescent all over and the fruit is ovoid. prismatic and broadly-4-winged throughout its length combined with these other characters makes it distinct from other species. Ethnobotany: Used as a lotion for sores. Etymology: Oenothera is from Greek oinos, wine and thera, to imbibe, brachycarpa means short fruit. Synonyms: Lavauxia brachycarpa, Megapterium brachycarpum, Oenothera brachycarpa var. wrightii, O. caespitosa subsp. australis, O. caespitosa var. australis, O. cespitosa var. australis, O. cespitosa subsp. australis Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015
Citation: The vPlants Project. vPlants: A Virtual Herbarium of the Chicago Region. http://www.vplants.org
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