Content Detail

Ozark sundrop plants have a low and wide profile with sunny yellow flowers with a mild fragrance. As a member of the evening primrose family, Ozark sundrop flowers open at sunset and often close the following morning.

  • Family (English) Evening primrose
  • Family (botanic) Onagraceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial
  • Native locale North America
  • Size range Small plant (6-12 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7
  • Soil preference Dry soil, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Dry sites, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest early summer, midsummer, late summer
  • Flower color and fragrance Yellow
  • Shape or form Broad, Mounded, Round
  • Growth rate Moderate
  • Wildlife Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Insect pollinators

Size and method of spreading:

When mature, Ozark sundrops reach ½ to 1 foot tall and 1 to 2 feet wide. This species spreads by self-seeding.

Native geographic location an habitat: (include C-value if appropriate)

Ozark sundrops are native to the Central United States. 

Attracts birds or pollinators: 

Ozark sundrops attract birds, butterflies, moths, and small bees. 

Leaf description:

The leaves of Ozark sundrops are about 6 inches long and 1 inch across (lanceolate or oblanceolate) with prominent central veins. The edges of the leaves can be smooth (entire margins), somewhat wavy (repand or undulate margins), or have small, widely spaced teeth (dentate or serrate margins). 

Flower description:

Ozark sundrops have large bright yellow flowers that are approximately 5 inches in diameter. The flowers have four broad petals. Located at the base of the petals are eight long, yellow pollen structures (stamen) surrounding another long, yellow structure (style) that is split into four at the tip (divided stigma). The flowers open around dusk and may last for about a day, with new flowers appearing each evening for approximately two months. Around the base of the petals are purple spotted leaflike structures (sepals) that are the tips of a 2- to 6-inch connecting tubular structure (calyx tube) that connects the flower to the stem in the upper axils of the leaves. At the bases of the calyx tubes are the ovaries of the flowers, which look a bit like deflated balloons. 

Fruit description:

Ozark sundrops have distinctive, four-winged fruit structures (capsules) that are approximately 2 to 2 ½ inches tall and less than ½ inch wide. They become brown and papery when mature. When the seeds are ready to disperse, the fruit tip opens.

Plant Care:

After going to seed, Ozark sundrops begin their dormancy. They die back in the winter, but it is recommended to avoid disturbing the crowns during this time. Be sure to avoid overwatering Ozark sundrops. 

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

In soils that drain poorly, Ozark sundrops may develop root rot. Pest and disease issues are not typical for this species. Ozark sundrops have some tolerance to urban pollution and they are also deer resistant.


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