Montana Public Radio

pollinators

Evening Primrose: Shows Nightly At Nine

Jul 7, 2020
Yellow evening primroses (oenotherea flava)
Jerry Pierce (CC-BY-NC-2.0)

In the summer, folks come home from work at their jobs and hang out in their yards - they mow the lawn or weed the garden or have barbecues. I don't cook much, but just before dark I like to have a couple of friends over. We get out the beach chairs, face them toward the garden and get ready for my favorite summer evening entertainment. We watch my evening primroses open.

Bug Bytes: Yucca Moth

Jun 12, 2020
Courtesy of Ann Cooper / https://bugguide.net/node/view/119525 ©2007 Ann Cooper

In Montana, the small soapweed yucca is a plant native to the central and eastern part of the state, east of the Continental Divide. But thanks to its showy, fragrant stalks of beautiful white flowers, it's a popular addition to gardens west of the divide too.

But there’s one big difference between yuccas growing within their native range versus the non-native transplants …the plant will only produce its big seedpods in its native range.

Is it because of differences in climate, soils, or maybe the amount of rain? It all boils down to the presence of one, very specific insect – the yucca moth – the only insect capable of successfully pollinating the plant.

Amy Cilimburg talks with naturalist and Lolo National Forest Wildlife Interpreter Sue Reel about native bees, the plants they need, why we need pollinators, and the colorful guides Sue developed.

Amy also speaks with Amy Seaman – Amy's colleague at Montana Audubon – about cool birds.

Evening Primrose

Apr 18, 2014

4/19/14: This week on "The Plant Detective:"  There's an important acid in the seeds of evening primrose: gamma linolenic acid, or GLA, which is an essential fatty acid. From EFAs, our bodies manufacture chemicals responsible for many basic functions, and EFA deficiency may contribute to arthritic inflammation, menstrual problems, eczema, and more.