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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

O is for Oenothera Speciosa




is for


Oenothera Speciosa


Today I'm taking you along to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to see some of my favorite Texas wildflowers.


Oenothera speciosa is the scientific name for evening primrose.


This plant is sometimes known as showy primrose because the flowers often open in the morning rather than evening.


You might know this little wildflower as a buttercup. It gets that name from the cup shape petals and its butter colored pollen. As a child, this is one of the first wildflowers I knew. It was great fun to pick one of these and push it onto someone's face to give them a "butter nose".


The delicate flowers are about 3 inches wide with four petals. They can range from a dark pink to a pale pink.


Here in Texas we can plant them from seed in the fall, though they are common along the highways and in open woodlands. They generally bloom from the middle of March well into July.


Lady Bird Johnson, a former First Lady of the United States, delighted in this sweet, pink flower. In her book, WILDFLOWERS ACROSS AMERICA, Mrs. Johnson said, ". . . evening primrose — to me one of the most exquisite and feminine of all wildflowers." At one time the pink evening primrose was chosen for an early logo for her National Wildflower Center at Austin.


This hardy drought tolerant wildflower is one of the few evening primroses that blooms during the daytime.


Some of these little "buttercups" also come in a sunny yellow variety.


The square-bud primrose has a more distinctly square shape to the petals, and the flowers are a bit smaller than the pink evening primrose.


Mixed in among the pink and yellow evening primroses in the planting I photographed are these striking winecups that are a deep burgundy color.


The cupped petals of the winecup are deeper than the primrose. This deep burgundy color is a common variety to Central Texas.


There is also a white variety.



The winecups are in the Mallow Family.


The National Wildflower Center was established in 1982 to protect and preserve the native plants and natural landscapes of North America. The Center is one of the leading research institutions for native plants.


Spectacular displays of color blanket both garden plots and open areas at the center.


Lady Bird Johnson was a strong advocate for preserving the natural flora of North America.


Across from the National Wildflower Center is another nature preserve for those who like to bike.


The Veloway Park is exclusively for bicycles or rollerblading. It's a three mile paved loop that winds through Slaughter Creek Metropolitan Park.


The roadside is sprinkled with blankets of beautiful wildflowers.

To read more about the National Wildflower Center click here.

This post was written for Mrs. Matlock's class assignment for the letter O. Click here to join Mrs. Matlock for more Letter O topics for Alphabe-Thursday.

I've also linked this post to the following upcoming weekly blog parties. Click on each below to visit others participating in that day's party.

Saturday ~ Beverly's Pink Saturday

Saturday ~ Laurie's A Few of My Favorite Things

Tuesday ~ Tam's Three or More Tuesday

Wednesday ~ Susan's Outdoor Wednesday


74 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures of such delicate and lovely flowers. I can see why Lady Bird loved them so.

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  2. lady bird and her wildflowers one of the wonderful parts of TX! Your pictures are amazing! Thanks for sharing. I spent a short stint in East Texas and well, the flowers are pretty!!!

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  3. I love wildflowers. I especially love when driving down the freeway and you see them. Beautiful pictures.

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  4. Some of your shots of these beauties are exquisite. How wonderful that you live so close to all this abundance of color.(Evening primrose oil is good for what ails you.)

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  5. Lady Bird was a classy first lady and her beautification program for US highways was a remarkable thing when I was just a kid! These flowers are gorgeous. Thank you. Anne

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  6. Thank you for the fabulous photos and tutorial...those wildflowers are always a favorite of mine!

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  7. I love you posts, you are such a good teacher, I always learn so much. i adore wildflowers and knew that Lady Bird was a great supporter and your tour was wonderful! Thank you for taking the time to create such interesting posts!

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  8. Lady Bird's Wildflower Center must be beautiful! The primrose is such a lovely flower. I remember as a child smelling them and getting the pollen on my nose!

    Katherine

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  9. so beautiful! thanks for the virtual tour

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  10. Yet another reason I need to visit Texas - thanks for sharing your lovley photos!

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  11. Good morning Sarah,
    Such beautiful photographs, the park looks wonderful. The story about Lady Bird Johnson was very interesting to me as I love wildflowers too. Maybe we'll walk through there together one day?
    ~Maggie~

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  12. Your photos are amazing. The colors really pop!

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  13. Sarah, I LOVE this post. The Wildflower Center is one of my very favorite places to visit. It's just beautiful, and such a wonderful place to stroll, relax and recharge. And I've always admired Lady Bird Johnson, one of my very favorite First Ladies. Thanks for the morning brightener! Kathy

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  14. wOw, Sarah, This was a lOvely O post! What a great place!

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  15. Good Morning Sarah,

    I've always wanted to see the Texas Bluebonnets in bloom. I've heard about their glory!! My fave is that white winecup..it is stunning!! Thanks for sharing your O with us today.

    Have a great week.

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  16. Thanks for sharing these pretty flowers and the history of them. We went to Texas one time and went to the Johnson's homestead. Such a pretty place in the hills. That sure is a nice place for bikers.

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  17. Thank you for sharing these fabulous photos. Such a treasure Texas has in this wildflower preserve! ~ Angela

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  18. Lovely!

    Lady Bird Johnson was the inspiration for the highway beautification project along the interstates in my state...lovely wild flowers in the median all spring and summer long.

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  19. WOW..I so love the pictures!
    Awesome and Evening Primrose is so crucial.
    Happy Thursday!
    Mine is here
    hugs
    shakira

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  20. How lovely! The primroses are just beginning to bloom at the Chicago Botanic Garden. A friend from Lubbock just e-mailed me some lovely primrose photos from around town.

    I'm so happy to have your book review on "The Calligrapher's Daughter". My muse book group is always open to suggestions. Admittedly, I know very little about Korean history.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  21. Thanks for this post, Sarah. I love these flowers. I have the light pink ones in our flower bed in the front yard and they are blooming like crazy so to speak and I never knew what they were were but they keep coming back every year....Christine

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  22. Aren't they beautiful? And weren't you luck to have such a forward thinking and gracious First Lady as Lady Bird?

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  23. Good morning! I was sooo excited to see your post name. This is one of my favorite flowers! They are just so happy.

    I really didn't know anything about them other than the fact they always make my heart smile!

    I found your facts and pictures really outstanding!

    A+

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  24. Your photos of evening primrose and the park were beautiful. Joni

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  25. what pretty little flowers, i have never seen them and they look so sweet .... and i love the quote by Lady Bird Johnson ... how wonderful that she was there to help educate and preserve the wild flowers.

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  26. This post took me back to my youth with all the wild flowers! Beutiful pictures that seem to carry the scent of the flowers!

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  27. Sarah, I love your post of these lovely flowers...we have them here in Tennessee. Thank you for your visit to my "Odditorium". Peace and blessings...jeff

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  28. Sarah, what a beautiful tour this was, and so full of great information! I love those birds on sticks in the gardens. Are the metal? I'm so glad you're linking this beautiful post to Favorite Things. laurie

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  29. Beautiful flowers and wonderful Latin "O" names. Thanks for the lovely tour.

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  30. Beautiful, wouldn't have seen it except for your generosity, ty. Evening primrose extract is also very good medicinally ...

    Have a great eve.
    TTFN ~ Hugs in love, Marydon

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  31. Sarah...I'm so glad you stopped by and visited my BlueBonnet Trails post. I have not been to LadyBirds Wildflower Center and will have it on my places in Texas to see on the GRIT's next WildFlower Trip. Enjoyed this post so much. I'm going to link it to my BlueBonnet Road Trip. You are so right...Texas Wildflowers have been Spectacular this year!

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  32. I'm going to make my son take me there on my next visit to Austin!

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  33. Wildflowers are wonderful. What a lovely place to walk through, or in the other park, ride a bike through. I never knew buttercups came in anything but yellow. Those pink ones are beautiful.

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  34. Great post!
    I've been there many times, the colors and sights and sounds are just unbelievable.

    Have a wonderful Friday!
    Anne

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  35. What beautiful fotos, so much pink! = gorgeous! <3

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  36. What an amazing nature center. Lady Bird did a lot for wildflower preservation.

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  37. Sarah, thank you for taking me along to this beautiful place. I always admired Lady Bird Johnson, She was a true lady.

    Happy Pink Saturday.

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  38. Hi Sarah, these pictures are so very lovely. Ahhhh.....I could get lost in the beauty!!

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Barb ♥

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  39. Oh that was just wonderful! I love wildflowers, and these are just gorgeous. Thanks for taking us on a tour, and for all the great info.

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  40. Beautiful! What lovely flowers. Lady Bird Johnson did such wonderful things, didn't she?
    Hugs,
    Penny

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  41. Beautiful flowers! Yes, there is something special about wildflowers. They steal your heart.:)

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  42. How beautiful these are..we, in West Texas, don't have the pretty wildflowers of Central and East Texas. The wildflowers in the Texas Hill Country are some of the most beautiful of anywhere.
    loved these photos..:)

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  43. The 'evening primrose' is beautiful, but the 'winecup' is my fav! Thanks for sharing this beautiful post.
    ~Holly

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  44. Oh, thanks for the reminder that I should take my girls to the Wildflower Center soon :) . Lovely place!
    Beautiful photos in your O post :) .

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  45. I love this flower. It does very well in Utah :)
    Thank you for your visit.
    XOXO
    frenchy

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  46. What a wonderful tour! All the flowers are so beautiful!

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  47. O how lovely, and such a nice way of illustrating the letter.

    Happy Pink Saturday!

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  48. How beautiful. I grow pink mallow in Maine. The flowers are larger and the plant is much taller but the flowers are almost as delicate.

    Happy Pink Saturday.

    Carol

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  49. I will have to look into this beautiful plant if it is drought tolerant-it would be perfect here in Australia! Thanks for the excellent information.

    Best wishes and happy weekend,
    Natasha.

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  50. Thanks for the walk in the wildflowers. What a fun post.

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  51. I give the *teacher* an A+ for this lesson! What a wonderfully informative post, Sarah! I remember well Lady Bird's passion for preserving the wildflowers across our land. These are delightfully displayed throughout your post. I'm wondering if they would grow here in Ohio?? Must research that.
    Thanks for the teachable moment. :-)

    fondly,
    Rett

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  52. Hi Sarah....There is a Big ShoutOut for you on CollectInTexas Gals Pink Saturday Post! OMGosh....Congratulations!!!! Do You know WHY?....Sue

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  53. What a wonderful post! thanks so much for sharing it with all of us!
    HPS!
    Debbie

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  54. I love them! I have them here, but sometimes they die over the winter.
    The flowers are just beautiful!
    I remember one of the readers had a story about the Texas Blue Bonnets...they must be beautiful to see.

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  55. Lovely pics of lovely flowers. Reminds me of my visits to botanical gardens as a young girl. Happy Pink Saturday to you! Peggy x

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  56. Happy Pink Saturday. I so enjoyed my buttercup field in my yard that I forgot to get out and see the bluebonnets and rest blooming elsewhere! Of course, I have taken quite a few photos and just smiled when I saw your post! Thanks, Jenn!

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  57. Thank you so much for the plant adivce! Have a great weekend!

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  58. i've seen these flowers and didn't know what they were! do they have a fragrance?

    thank you for taking us along!!!!!

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  59. Hi Sarah,
    I used to have some evening primrose growing under my gas lantern...don't think they are still there now. I miss them! Your wildflower pics are sooo beautiful!

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  60. Sarah, I don't think you'll have much luck with growing lily of the valley in TX. I found this discussion of it for you:

    http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/txgard/msg0416304421443.html

    The pink flowering trees that every single house in our development has in their front yard are flowering crabapple trees. I need to take a close-up shot before the petals all blow off.
    It really looks pretty when they are all in bloom. This is a planned development & the builder insists that each home have certain designated landscaping in the front. Looks great! I can plant whatever I want along the sides & back of the house but he wants a uniform appearance from the street.

    Have a nice quiet Sunday. We're off to the Confirmation of DGS#1. Of course, it is pouring down rain right now. Good thing my outfit is washable silk!!!

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  61. The EVening Primrose is such a beauty Sarah. Thanks I learned something new today already! What a great place to visit on a nice sunny day. I would love to go to the bike park too. My husband is ordering us new bikes this week so we can do more of that kind of stuff. Hope you are having a great weekend. I never posted for Pink Saturday. I'm wracking my brain on that one a bit. I love Pink but just don't have a whole lot of it to share! Take care... Sherri : )

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  62. I did not know they came in yellow. And I did not know you live in Texas! Well, thanks for teaching me both!
    Brenda

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  63. Your wonderful photos of the wildflowers of Texas, reminds me of all of those spring time drives through the country roads of central and east Texas. Those flowers do actually grow wild along the road and fields. On my blog "Texas Tea Party" we show our 2 collies among the bluebonnets. Thanks for your sweet comments on my table settings.

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  64. Hi Sarah! How lovely! I loved Ladybird and want to see her wildflower center one day! I didn't know that buttercups came in pink! We only have the yellow here and yes...we did give each other butter chins...funny...not noses! lol I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!...hugs...Debbie

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  65. I love wildflowers. Thanks for the tour!

    Happy Pink Saturday on Sunday!!

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  66. Happy Pink belated Saturday. This is too too funny. I took tons of photos over the weekend of our buttercups and plan a post about it soon and how we played with buttercups as a child. It was fun to read about thru your eyes. xoxo

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  67. How funny, I almost bought some of these delicate looking sweet plants at Lowe's garden center yesterday! (But I was on a mission to just buy for the window box, which I did!). I've never tried growing Evening Primrose before but would love a patch of it in my garden. Perhaps I'll return and get some now I have learned more about them and see how pretty they look.

    Lovely tour Sarah, many thanks. Lady Bird Johnson did love wildflowers - and so do I.

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  68. Okay - you have me hooked! Who else knows the word "oenothera"? I can't wait to see what "P" will bring! :)

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  69. What a lovely tour. It's hard to believe, but I remember when Lady Bird was first lady. She was a very kind lady. Linda

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  70. Hi Sarah~ ~ Beautiful post Thanks for sharing.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

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  71. Sarah- this is a wonderful post. My next gardening goal is learning how to incorporate wildflowers in my garden.
    This was so informative.
    It's getting so hot in South Texas.
    yikes!

    Laura
    White Spray Paint

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  72. beautiful wild flowers! so delicate.

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  73. Beautiful and very informative post. Makes me miss Texas! When I lived there I used to love taking road trips. So many beautiful wildflowers along the rural roads.

    ~ Tracy

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  74. THose pale PINK flowers we call Mexican Primroses... they grow wild... I once planted them in my garden... they took over... I'm STILL trying to get rid of them... at least they are pretty!

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Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.

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