Page author: David Giblin
Oenothera suffrutescens
scarlet beeblossom

Distribution: Reported from Bingen, Washington - unclear as to whether truly native or a garden escape; chiefly east of the Rockies, but crossing into western Montana.

Habitat: Dry, open slopes, chiefly in the sagebrush area.

Flowers: June - August

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Glabrous to stiff-hairy perennial, the stems several, decumbent, simple or freely-branched, 2-6 dm. tall.


Leaves alternate, many, sessile, linear-lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, 1-3 cm. long, with a few shallow teeth, reduced upward.


Inflorescence of many-flowered spikes 5-20 cm. long, with bracts 3-9 mm. long; calyx tube slender, 5-9 mm. long, with 4 distinct, reflexed lobes; petals 4, red, pink or nearly white, 3-6 mm. long including the narrow claw, the blade oval to rhombic; stamens 8, filaments 3-5 mm. long, with tiny, linear scales at the base; style slightly longer than the stamens; stigma with 4 short, oval lobes from a cup-like base; ovary inferior, 4-celled.


Fruit hardened, 5-9 mm. long, somewhat spindle-shaped, sharply 4-angled, winged on the upper half.

Accepted Name:
Oenothera suffrutescens (Ser.) W.L. Wagner & Hoch

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Gaura coccinea Nutt. ex Pursh [HC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Oenothera suffrutescens in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Oenothera suffrutescens checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Oenothera suffrutescens atlas page.

CalPhotos: Oenothera suffrutescens photos.

USDA Plants: Oenothera suffrutescens information.

5 photographs:
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