E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Oenothera pallida Lindl.
pale evening primrose (pale evening-primrose; rockweed brush)
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #11057)

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Distribution of Oenothera pallida
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Oenothera pallida ssp. pallida

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a rhizome; stems very leafy, 10-50 cm tall, simple to branched at base; glabrous to greyish-stiff-hairy, whitish bark peeling.
Linear to linear lanceolate, 2-6 cm long, mostly less than 5 (10) mm wide, entire to sharp-toothed, sometimes with 1 or more conspicuous toothlike lobes near base; gradually narrowed to stalks, 5-15 mm long.
Inflorescence of several to many, long-stalked, fragrant flowers in very leafy spikes, the buds nodding, opening in the evening; hypanthium 1.5-3.5 cm long, usually pink to purplish, glabrous to stiff-hairy, not glandular; petals egg-shaped, 1.5-3 cm long, tips rounded to notched, white, aging pinkish; sepals 1-2 cm long, mostly joined and turned to one side in flower; stamens about equalling petals in length, the anthers 6-10 mm long; styles about equalling the petals in length; stigma lobes 4, linear, 4-6 mm long.
Capsules, linear, 2-3 mm thick at the base, tapered to tip, usually arched upward, 1.5-3.5 cm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry sandy slopes and banks in the steppe zone; infrequent in S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; S to ID, AZ and NM.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Oenothera pallida

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 280 301 340
Slope Gradient (%) 5 14 25
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
145 193 270
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 1 2
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(1), PP(2)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References