The bluebonnet definitely ranks as the most popular wildflower in Texas. However, Texas is also home to more than 1,000 varieties of wildflowers.

Whether you view them while driving on a highway or strolling along a walkway, travelers have lots of colorful wildflowers to enjoy throughout the growing season.

This week’s featured roadside flower is the pink evening primrose. At least that’s one of its common names.

Other common names include showy evening primrose, white evening primrose, and pink ladies.

While several different species of evening primroses occur in Texas, the species that occurs in our growing area is Oenothera speciosa.

The pink evening primrose is a familiar roadside wildflower at this time.

Most of the dense patches of pink that travelers see along rights-of-way are pink evening primroses.

The pink evening primrose is a prolific bloomer from spring to midsummer and, often, again in the fall. 

Despite its common name, some pink evening primroses produce near white flowers that display pink or red veins and yellow centers.

It is common to see a large patch of pink evening primroses with pink flowers growing next to a large patch with white flowers.

Its flowers are tissue-like, 2-3 inches wide and have prominent yellow stamens and pistils.

Flowers often contain a reddish tinge to their veins that resemble a fine network of blood vessels. The bowl-shaped flowers face skyward.

Pink evening primroses are easy to grow from seed. However, pink evening primrose can become invasive in ornamental beds and even lawns.

They send their roots far and wide during the winter when no top growth is visible, then pop up everywhere in the spring.

Roadside flowers provide beauty and a sense of calm when traveling along our roadways.

Dr. William Johnson is a horticulturist with the Galveston County Office of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, The Texas A&M System. Visit his website at http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston.

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