Sundrops, Oenothera Fruticosa: Bright Yellow, Four-Petaled Flowers in Late Spring

Oenothera Fruticosa

Photo Compliments of Shihmei Barger

Oenothera fruticosa, commonly called sundrops, or southern sundrops, is an erect, day-flowering member of the evening primrose family. This plant will typically reach a height of 12 to 18 inches and produces terminal clusters of bright yellow four-petaled flowers in late spring on stems clad with lanceolate green leaves (1 to 3 inches in length).

Flowers are followed by distinctive club-shaped seed capsules. Flowers bloom during the day, hence the common name of sundrops. Each flower is short-lived, but flowers bloom in succession over a two month period.

How To Make Your Sundrops, Oenothera Fruticosa, Thrive

Sundrops are easily grown in average to moderately fertile, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. The preference is good summer heat and dryish soils, this plant will tolerate poor soils and light shade. If foliage dies in summer after flowering, you may be cut back stems to the basal rosette.

General Sundrops, Oenothera Fruticosa Sundrop Information

Pests and Diseases

There are no serious insect or disease problems, this is a very robust plant.


Seeds can be sown in autumn. Sundrops spread naturally with runners and stolons and can be propagated by dividing the stoloniferous roots, also by starting soft, fast growing stem tip cuttings in spring.

Garden Uses

Ideal locations include: borders, wild gardens, rock gardens, native plant areas or cottage gardens.

Quick Facts

  • Family: Onagraceae
  • Common Name: Sundrops
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Hardiness Zones: Zones 4 to 8
  • Height: 12 to 18 inches
  • Spread: 12 to 24 inches
  • Bloom Time: May to June
  • Bloom Color: Yellow
  • Sun: Full sun
  • Water: Dry to medium
  • Maintenance: Low
  • Tolerates: Drought, erosion, dry soil, shallow-rocky soil

Photo Search

Google – Sundrops, Oenothera Fruticosa, Sundrop Photos

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  1. These are beautiful flowers.
    I have a small fairy garden on a dresser top. So I have small planets.

  2. What luminously yellow petals!

  3. I love sundrops–they are so happy and SO easy to grow. But they do spread like weeds, if you’re not careful!

  4. I didn’t know of this the color and name
    Ramblingwoods recently posted..What I Have Been Up to ….My Profile

  5. I have actually grown this flower. It wasn’t my favorite, as it was weedy, but the yellow color is delightful.
    debsgarden recently posted..My Garden MistakesMy Profile

  6. I have once taken a photo of this species, and had no idea what it was called. Thanks, Charlie. 🙂

  7. aren’t they lovely, such an appropriate name too

  8. it looks like I ‘ve seen this flower , but I’m not sure . The flowers are beautiful in my opinion .

  9. So beautiful and lifegiving optimistic… 🙂

  10. These sundrops look pretty similar to the ones that grow natively in Texas. We also have a pink-flowered species, Oenothera speciosa, that I saw my first one of yesterday.
    Steve Schwartzman recently posted..Toxomerus marginatusMy Profile

  11. Beautiful photos of this special flower. I saw some blooms out in the field last weekend. They are hardy and beautiful.

  12. I hope you are OK Charlie…. I know you visited, but you aren’t posting….

  13. Love these flowers, so beautiful…really enjoyed reading your posts, what a great site x

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