Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Oenothera tetraptera Cav.

Frost tender perennial with branching stems and lance-shaped, somewhat pinnatifid leaves, to 9cm, and white flowers, ageing to red, in summer and autumn.  To 30cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘This is another newly discovered [species], which, like most of its kind, displays its beauties chiefly in the night.  It is the only one, as far as we yet know, that has white blossoms; these, when first expanded, are beautifully so, but in the morning they change to a purple colour, fade, and their place is supplied by a fresh succession. […] It was raised from seeds sent by Mr. Donn, from Cambridge; but was probably first introduced into this country from seeds sent to the Marchioness of Bute, by Prof. Ortega, of Madrid.’  [BM t.468/1800].  Introduced to Britain in 1796.  [PD].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues [H.173/1845].


Published Oct 13, 2009 - 03:18 PM | Last updated Jul 28, 2010 - 03:38 PM

Figured are somewhat pinnatifid leaves and white saucer-shaped flowers, fading to red.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.468, 1800.

Oenothera tetraptera Cav. | BM t.468/1800 | BHL

Family Onagraceae
Region of origin

Texas to South America

  • Hartmannia tetraptera Small
  • Xylopleurum tetrapterum Raim. 
Common Name

Fourwing Evening Primrose

Name in the Camden Park Record

Oenothera tetraptera 

Confidence level high