Author: Amanda Carrigan
It was a chill grey day for our Meet the Monarch pollinator education/fun day at KUC and the Alcove Garden yesterday, but the sundrops were out in full force, adding cheerful colour. A member of the evening primrose family, sundrops do best in sun and well-drained but not dry soil. They spread quickly but are easy to control, with shallow roots. Members of the family support a couple species of specialist bees. There are both northern and southern species of sundrops, Oenethera tetragona and O. fruticosa, respectively. They are quite similar, and both hardy here, so we’re not sure which one is at the Alcove garden. As well, a cousin species, Oenethera biennis, a tall biennial species of evening primrose with smaller flowers than the sundrops, has volunteered at the garden, so we hope it will stay.
Lemon-yellow sundrops in bloom at the Alcove garden mid-June, mixed with blue-purple flowers of catmint.
Photo: Amanda Carrigan