Oenothera fremontii ‘Shimmer’: A Cheery Nativar Evening Primrose

Shimmer Evening Primrose

Oenothera ‘Shimmer’PP#19663 is a selection of a Great Plains native, also known as a nativar. Its cheerful, large lemon-yellow flowers bloom for a long time, beginning profusely in late spring and re-blooming throughout the summer and into fall, scenting the warm evening air with a soft fragrance. Shimmer is a great pollinator plant, attracting bees, sphinx moths, and butterflies. 

Shimmer was selected by horticulturists Lauren Springer and Scott Ogden for its extra narrow, grassy silver foliage mound which is made yet more delightful when dotted with the bright yellow flowers. It has a compact, refined habit compared to most evening primroses, only getting about 10” tall and 15-18” wide. This plant loves the sun and is quite drought tolerant after establishment.  Use it in the front of perennial borders, in containers or in xeric plantings. Native to Kansas and Nebraska, it’s well suited to a sunny life in clay, loam or sandy soils with minimal water. Shimmer will join the Plant Select family of plants in 2023. 

Thanks to Lauren Springer, author and renowned horticulturist, for this piece! 

Height: 8-10”

Width: 16-18”

Flowering season: May to Frost

Light: Full sun to partial sun

Water Needs: Dry to xeric after establishment

USDA Hardiness Zone 4-8 

14 responses to “Oenothera fremontii ‘Shimmer’: A Cheery Nativar Evening Primrose”

  1. Kathy says:

    Do I need to prune this in order for it to rebloom in summer? Mine stopped blooming in the end of May.

    • Ross Shrigley-Plant Select says:

      It should not need deadheading. That’s interesting that it flowered so early. Here in CO it is just about to start blooming. If you are in a mild climate, you may have to cut it back to get it to rebloom.

  2. Hesper says:

    I planted 12 Shimmer in May 2021. They were covered in blooms reappearing all spring & summer, so beautiful. The blooms were above the foliage & highly visible. This summer the plants are healthy, but the blooms are buried in the foliage. They are profuse, but can hardly be seen. Is this normal? I am hoping that the next flush of blooms will be higher, and next spring I will pinch back the tips before budding to see if that helps.

    • Ross Shrigley-Plant Select says:

      Yes, this is normal because the plant is growing larger. As the foliage grows out, the flowers will become more visible, but yes this is the typical growth habit for Shimmer.

      • Hesper Kentz says:

        Thank you for the feedback. I am sorry I didn’t see it til after I posted my next post. But now I am having this splitting issue. Any ideas what may be causing it to split open in the middle? (See picture in my newest post).

        • Ross Shrigley-Plant Select says:

          Lodging of this plant probably means it is getting too much water. It does not need any supplemental water after it is established.

  3. Hesper Kentz says:

    That makes sense as we I gave them a deep watering when the hot sunny, days came, but then the next week we had a solid week of heavy rain, which is unheard of in recent years in our area. After that many of my plants have shown signs of overwatering. Thanks for the response.

  4. Janice says:

    Is this plant toxic to dogs? I have read conflicting information. My tags list this as Oenothera Fremonti Silver Blade. Thanks for your help.

  5. Linda says:

    Does this plant show its blooms only in the evening and early morning hours?

  6. Rob says:

    Anyone know where I can buy Shimmer in the Denver metro area? Have not been able to find it.

    • Ross Shrigley-Plant Select says:

      Should be coming this summer. There was a large crop loss in NM last winter. Check back in.

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