Petals of oenothera primiveris
are light yellow, slightly darker yellow or greenish at the base, and become pale pink to orange as they wither. Petal length varies between 1 and 1.5 inches (ssp bufonis
, centered on the Mojave Desert) or between 0.25 and 1 inches (ssp primiveris
, the Mojave Desert, and extending east into Texas). Petals are heart-shaped, with a lengthwise groove down the middle extending to a deep notch at the tip, and generally not overlapping when fully open. Sepals are green, up to an inch or more in length, and recurved.
Plants usually have no stems; leaves form as a basal rosette, and the flower stalks also emerge at ground level. The green or gray-green leaves are usually pinnately divided almost to the midvein, into irregularly shaped lobes, often alternating between large and small. Leaves may have a much longer terminal lobe. Leaves and flower stalks have a dense covering of short hairs. Some of the hairs have reddish bases, while those on the sepals may be glandular.