Written by: Garret Montgomery, Jason Bond, and Tom Eubank
Scientific Name: Oenothera laciniata Hill
Synonyms: Evening primrose, primrose, sundrops
Cutleaf evening-primrose is a herbaceous winter annual or biennial dicot plant with extremely wide variation in growth habits and leaf shapes. Cotyledons are kidney-shaped and have petioles. Leaves initially develop as a basal rosette, are variable in shape, can be coarsely toothed or irregularly lobed along the margin, and have hairs on tops of leaf blades and no hairs underneath. Stems are hairy and usually red in color and can range from very simple to highly branched. Flowers are yellow or red. Key identifying characteristics of the species are the distinctive white mid-vein found on most leaves and a reddish base when cut with a sharp knife near the soil line.
Cutleaf evening-primrose is native to the United States and can be found across most of the eastern parts of the country. It is common in agronomic fields, pastures, roadsides, gardens, and waste sites in Mississippi. Cutleaf evening-primrose can be a severe problem for spring burndown, especially in fields where all tillage is completed in the fall. Glyphosate is generally ineffective when applied alone. Tank mixtures of 2,4-D or dicamba with glyphosate applied in early-spring should adequately control cutleaf evening-primrose prior to planting. Although it is not toxic, this weed is most problematic in pastures because its texture makes it unsuitable for forage and it also lowers hay quality.
Bryson, C.T. and M.S. DeFelice. 2009. Weeds of the South. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. pp. 250.
Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide. http://www.ppws.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/oeola.htm