Oenothera deltoides Torr. & Frém.
Desert Primrose, Birdcage Evening Primrose, Basket Evening Primrose, Lion in a Cage, Devil's Lantern
Desert primrose is native to the southwestern United States, and northern Mexico.
Identification: Most of the colorful common names of this plant refer to odd shape taken by it after it dies. The stems curl upward and form the ”birdcage,” as shown below. If you don’t happen to be looking for dead desert primrose, though, the plant has gray-green leaves near the base. (In several of the photos here, it is difficult to distinguish the leaves from those of surrounding plants. The desert primrose leaves are about 4" (10 cm) long and up to ¾" (1.9 cm) wide.) Stems 2-10" (5-25 cm) high are topped by showy, fragrant white flowers that fade to pink as they age, up to 3" (7.6 cm) wide. The flowers bloom at night. Several leafy branches extend from the central stem, along the ground, from 4" (10 cm) to 3' (91 cm). It is these branches that curl to form the “birdcage.”
Oenothera deltoides at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Oenothera deltoides on Oceanlight.com, a natural history stock photography site by Phillip Colla
Oenothera deltoides on CalPhotos
Oenothera deltoides at the Land Retirement Demonstration Project by the U.S. Department of the Interior (PDF)
Oenothera deltoides on ZipcodeZoo.com
Oenothera deltoides description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.