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Onagraceae Juss., nom. cons.
the evening primrose family
Οναγρα (onagra) was the ancient Greek name for a plant (the actual plant is uncertain), and literally means ‘food for the onager (οναγρος, the wild ass)’. The name was, in pre-Linnaean times, used for what was to become the type genus of the evening primrose family, although Linnaeus changed the name to Oenothera. The delicate flowers of this family typically have regular bisexual flowers with 4 separate sepals and 4 separate petals, and either the same number of stamens as petals, or twice as many. The ovary is inferior, within a floral cup. The ovary usually consists of 4 united carpels. The stigma is a distinctive feature of many species, with as many lobes as there are carpels in the ovary. The ovary matures as a capsule with many seeds, or sometimes as a berry or a drupe.
Ludwigia octovalvis - Willow Primrose
Photograph by Jerzy Opiola via Wikimedia Commons
Page last updated 27th March 2018