In the Wild
*Also known as evening star, king’s cure all, night light, and night willow herb
This prairie wildflower has a rosette of large basal leaves and an erect stem that can reach three to six feet tall. Lance-shaped leaves with wavy edges grow on the same stems with flowers. At dusk, the shiny yellow flowers unfurl and perfume the air. Blooming a few at a time, these four-petaled flowers are two inches wide and last only one night. The flowers give way to clusters of oblong seed capsules.
Although not a true primrose, it was so named because of its resemblance to the small common primrose (Primula vulgaris syn. P. acaulis). The folk name night light comes from the slight phosphorescence of the blossoms that emit a faint light.
Native Americans used the roots for a medicinal tea and various other parts of the plant for other remedies. English settlers used the lemon-scented leaves as a culinary herb. Evening primrose was taken back to Europe where it has become naturalized. This plant is popular in modern herbal medicine.
Evening primrose is a powerful support for magic. Place a couple of flowers on your altar to boost the energy of spells. Cut a stalk, let it dry, and then use it as a wand for banishing spells. Place a dried stalk in the attic or a place high in your house to invite protection and foster a sense of safety. Hold a leaf between your palms for help in finding truth while you meditate on a situation. As a healer, evening primrose provides balance during times of change. To commemorate a new beginning, burn a dried leaf in your cauldron.
Evening primrose is associated with the element fire, and its astrological influence comes from Venus.