Drops of Sun


The other common moniker for these sundrops is Evening Primrose, so-named because of their tendency to close up come evening (which makes it seem like Morning Primrose would be a more apt title). Plant names are sketchy at best, and common ones are even trickier. Why can’t they all be Red hot pokers? A question that I’ve contemplated for years… As for the Oenothera (the scientific name for these bright yellow beauties), they are from a patch at my parents’ home that I originally planted about two decades ago. Through division and cultivation, they’ve gradually moved around the house to their current location standing sentinel by the front door. A harbinger of high summer, they mirror the sun in happy countenance, and shut down in dismay when she slumbers at night. Though the show is spectacular, it lasts only for a couple of weeks. There may be a sporadic flowering following this initial burst, but for the most part this is their glory.

It’s more than substantial, and sets up the golden color band to follow in the Rudbeckia and Hemerocallis. The latter duo will see us through the zenith of summer color, but neither is as pure a yellow as the Evening Primrose. They lean either to gold or to cream, both enchanting in their own way, but nothing beats the clarity of these yellow sundrops. Echoes of sunlight itself.

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