Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands

Take care of our Navajo Rangelands

Evening primrose
Tł’é’yiigáhii
(a.k.a. Tufted evening primrose, stemless primrose, fragrant evening primrose, white stemless evening primrose, gumbo lily)

Yellow flowers arranged at the top of the stem

Evening primrose's flowers open late in the day, then turn pink and wilt the following morning. It can grow up to one foot tall, is nearly stemless, and grows from a thick taproot. It blooms April to September.

The flowers are white or yellow with four heart-shaped petals and eight yellow stamens. Flowers can measure up to three inches across and have a wonderful fragrance.

Rough seedpods, about one inch long, form soon after flowering. Leaves grow in a basal rosette. They are lance-shaped and toothed, growing up to 12 inches in length. The leaves are crinkly, gray-green, and fuzzy.

Evening primrose is found in piñon-juniper woodlands and shadscale scrub communities. It is common on roadsides, and is often abundant on steep, dry slopes. It occurs at elevations of 2,980 to 9,500 feet. It likes well-drained, rocky, sandy soils.

Cattle seem to avoid evening primrose. Young shoots and roots of some evening primroses are eaten by humans.

*Description courtesy of Utah State University's Range Plants of Utah.

Sideview of stalk with several yellow flowers at the end
Foliage, which occurs in a basal rosette as well as along the main stem and branches
Growth habit with dense foliage and yellow blossoms
Yellow flowers with characteristic four bilobate petals

Copyright 2018 New Mexico State University. Individual photographers retain all rights to their images. Partially funded by the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (westernsare.org; 435.797.2257), project EW15-023. Programs and projects supported by Western SARE are equally open to all people. NMSU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action educator and employer.