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Vascular Plants of California
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Oenothera elata subsp. hirsutissima

Higher Taxonomy
Family: OnagraceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to perennial herb (to tree). Leaf: cauline or basal, alternate, opposite, or whorled, generally simple and toothed (to pinnately compound); stipules 0 or generally deciduous. Inflorescence: spike, raceme, panicle, or flowers 1 in axils; bracted. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, often opening at either dawn or dusk; hypanthium generally prolonged beyond ovary (measured from ovary tip to sepal base); sepals 4(2--7); petals 4(2--7, rarely 0), often fading darker; stamens 2 × or = sepals in number, anthers 2-chambered, opening lengthwise, pollen interconnected by threads; ovary inferior, chambers generally as many as sepals (sometimes becoming 1), placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1--many per chamber, style 1, stigma 4-lobed (or lobes as many as sepals), club-shaped, spheric, or hemispheric. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal (sometimes berry or indehiscent and nut-like). Seed: sometimes winged or hair-tufted.
Genera In Family: 22 genera, +- 657 species: worldwide, especially western North America; many cultivated (Clarkia, Epilobium, Fuchsia, Oenothera). Note: Gaura moved to Oenothera. Fuchsia magellanica Lam. naturalized in northern California.
eFlora Treatment Author: Warren L. Wagner & Peter C. Hoch, family description, key to genera, treatment of genera by Warren L. Wagner, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Robert W. Patterson, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: OenotheraView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to perennial herb, generally from taproot, occasionally rhizomed. Leaf: basal or cauline, alternate, generally pinnately toothed to lobed, generally sessile. Inflorescence: spike, raceme-like, or flowers in axils of distal, reduced leaves. Flower: radial or (sect. Gaura) bilateral, generally opening at dusk; sepals 4, reflexed in flower (sometimes 2--3 remaining adherent); petals 4, yellow, white, rose, or +- purple, generally fading +- orange to +- purple, tip notched or toothed; stamens 8, filaments sometimes (sect. Gaura) with paired teeth at base, anthers attached at middle; ovary chambers 4, stigma generally deeply lobed, generally > anthers and cross-pollinated (or +- = anthers and self-pollinated). Fruit: generally dehiscent, cylindric to ovoid or obovoid, cylindric to 4-winged or -angled, straight to curved, generally sessile (base sometimes seedless, stalk-like). Seed: in generally 2(1--3) rows per chamber, or clustered or reduced to 1--4 per fruit.
Etymology: (Greek: wine-scented)
Unabridged Note: Many species self-pollinated; some of these have chromosome peculiarities (ring of 14 in meiosis) and +- 50% pollen fertility; they yield genetically identical offspring.
eFlora Treatment Author: Warren L. Wagner
Reference: Wagner et al. 2007 Syst Bot Monogr 83:1--240
Unabridged Reference: Raven & Gregory 1972 Mem Torrey Bot Club 23:1--96; Dietrich & Wagner 1988 Syst Bot Monogr 24:1--91; Wagner 2005 Syst Bot 30(2):332--355
Species: Oenothera elataView Description 

Habit: Biennial, densely minutely strigose and (especially in inflorescence) glandular; hairs also long, appressed to spreading, sometimes with red, blister-like base. Stem: erect. Leaf: cauline 4--25 cm, oblanceolate to lanceolate or elliptic, generally dentate to +- entire. Inflorescence: spike. Flower: hypanthium 20--48(55) mm; sepals 27--48 mm; petals 25--52 mm, yellow fading red-orange. Fruit: 20--65 mm, 4--7 mm wide, narrowly lanceolate, +- straight. Seed: 1--1.8 mm, angled, irregularly pitted. Chromosomes: 2n=14.
Note: Generally cross-pollinated. 3 subspecies, 2 in California.
Oenothera elata Kunth subsp. hirsutissima (S. Watson) W. Dietr.
Stem: 10--25 dm. Flower: sepals green or red-flushed, hairs glandular or not, also spreading, red, blister-like base +- 0, free tips in bud 3--6 mm; anthers 8--15 mm.
Ecology: Moist places, generally inland; Elevation: < 2800 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA; Distribution Outside California: western United States, northwestern Mexico. Flowering Time: Jun--Sep Note: Several intergrading forms.
Synonyms: Oenothera hookeri Torr. & A. Gray subsp. angustifolia (R.R. Gates) Munz; Oenothera hookeri subsp. grisea (Bartlett) Munz; Oenothera hookeri subsp. venusta (Bartlett) Munz
Jepson eFlora Author: Warren L. Wagner
Reference: Wagner et al. 2007 Syst Bot Monogr 83:1--240
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Oenothera elata subsp. hirsutissima

botanical illustration including Oenothera elata subsp. hirsutissima


Citation for this treatment: Warren L. Wagner 2017, Oenothera elata subsp. hirsutissima, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 5,, accessed on November 30, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 30, 2022.

Oenothera elata subsp. hirsutissima
click for enlargement
© 2011 Neal Kramer
Oenothera elata subsp. hirsutissima
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© 2021 Neal Kramer
Oenothera elata subsp. hirsutissima
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© 2013 Keir Morse
Oenothera elata subsp. hirsutissima
click for enlargement
© 2013 Keir Morse
Oenothera elata subsp. hirsutissima
click for enlargement
© 2012 Neal Kramer
Oenothera elata subsp. hirsutissima
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© 2005 George W. Hartwell

More photos of Oenothera elata subsp. hirsutissima in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Oenothera elata subsp. hirsutissima:
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).