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Oenothera biennisOenothera biennis
Evening Primrose
The sweetly scented flowers of this magick herb open towards evening and are faintly phosphorescent, which makes evening primrose a great Moon garden plant. Eliphas Levi recommended it be placed on the altar for Moon ceremonies. Some use this plant in hunting magic, perhaps by its association with Moon and thereby with the huntress Diana. It is also a fairy plant, from which it is said the Fae collect dew to make potions. The flowers represent fickleness in the Victorian language of flowers, perhaps because as the season progresses, the flowers, which normally open only at dusk, will open in the morning but not have a scent until the evening. There seems to be something very Moon-like in this "fickleness," corresponding to the Moon's shifting apparent shape. This might be a good herb for shapeshifting. Top

The Lakota Indians used the seeds as an aromatic. Although this plant has a reputation for being sedating, the Iroquois combined it with other herbs to counteract laziness. Roots were chewed and then the paste rubbed on the arms and legs of athletes to give them great strength. The Cherokee made a tea of this plant to drink for obesity, and they cooked the leaves for greens and the roots as potatoes. The Ojibwa soaked the whole plant and applied it to bruises. Top

Evening primrose engravingThis native of eastern North American native was cultivated originally for its succulent roots and was brought back to Europe by the Colonists. It has since spread all over the world, and China  has become the world's major exporter of evening primrose seed as a result. The whole plant is edible--flowers make an especially nice salad garnish, the leaves can be cooked as greens, and the roots can be boiled and eaten like potatoes, parsnips, or salsify. Birds like the seeds too, which can be very fiddly for human harvest. This plant can get overenthusiastic in terms of reproduction. Top

Evening Primrose likes to grow in borderlands, like along roads and at the edges of fields and yards or in sandy places where other plants have a hard time. It flowers all summer and into early fall.  The flowers attract moths for pollination at night and butterflies and bees during the day and have a slightly lemony scent. Evening primrose is also known as night candle, king`s cure-all, fever plant, night willowherb, scabish, sun crop, scurvish, tree primrose, and wild beet. Top

How to Grow Evening Primrose
Barely cover the seeds to germinate in 7-28 days. Start in early spring or in fall to bloom the following year. Transplant 8-12"/20-30cm apart in full sun or partial shade (we've found that it prefers growing at the edge of shrubby areas). The plants get 36-48"/.9-1.22m tall. The plant likes temperate areas and is hardy down to -10F/-23C (Zones 6-8). Later sowing increases the likelihood that the plant will be biennial and produce flowers only in the second year. If a biennial, it will make a rosette (or lotus throne) the first year and produce flowering stalks the second. It can be interplanted with medicinal herbs, soybeans, or peanuts. It can also be grown in sandy areas where domesticated plants don't do very well. General growing info Top


Oenothera biennis
Evening Primrose
200 seeds $3.75

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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Hunting Charms
Fairy Magic
Moon Herb

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Alchemy Works products are offered for use in spiritual, ritual, meditative, and magical practices, not for medicinal or cosmetic purposes. The information on this website is provided for its folkloric, historic, and magical value. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.