Col Hassan (Retd) looks at the potency of night flowers
Flowers blooming at night It is the ultimate beauty of nature that it has granted liberty to many species to grow irrespective of the fixed schedules of night and day. This formula is most vividly applicable to flora and fauna that add beauty to the environment and keep surroundings busy with activity. Not all flowers bloom during the day; some defy the norm and blossom only after sunset, usually with a strong fragrance. It is believed that the reason for this phenomenon is that such plants spread their seeds by attracting pollinators that are out and about in the night, like moths and bats. Their fragrances are the most potent indicator of their presence such as Raat ki Raani that attracts people with its unique smell.
The nightly blooming characteristic of flowers is indeed unique as they appear oblivious of the darkness all around them. They probably enjoy the quietitude and serenity of night and feel that it suits their existence. It is a wonder to witness the presence and growth of such flowers that quietly enjoy the evening and nightly breeze. They are an asset to any garden and are widely grown.
Night-blooming jasmine is a sub-tropical plant and it is considered as one of the strongest scented plants in the world. Native to West Indies and South Asia, the plant can reach the height of six to 13 feet (1.82 to four meters). It blooms in the night and closes during the day, from spring through fall.
Night-blooming water lilies are tropical water lilies and are found in varied colours including purple, pink, red, blue and yellow and are large – with a diameter between two to 12 feet (61 centimeters to 3.7 meters). The flowers bloom late in the evening and close up in the morning. Thriving on fresh water, which is shallow and still, these lilies can bloom several times before fading.
Casablanca lily is a night-blooming flower has varied colours including white, pink, orange and yellow, thanks to the prominent anthers and stigmas, and can grow up to four feet (1.21 meters) in height.
Night Gladiolus, usually grown in dense areas with high rainfall, these creamy yellow flowers can reach a height of about four feet (1.21 meters). They bloom in spring and summer. It is good to know that some parts of this plant are poisonous and can cause mild skin irritations or other allergies.
Night-scented stocks are pink to purple coloured flowers and are known to release spicy fragrance as they bloom. They can attain heights ranging from one to two feet (30-60 centimeters).
Tuberose is native to Mexico but is planted worldwide and it grows in elongated spikes that reach a height of up to 18 inches (45 centimeters). Due to its sweet, strong scent, the extract is used as a note in perfumery.
Easter lily cactus is big, funnel-shaped flower with varied colours like lavender, pink, white and pale red. One bloom stays for a single day, but there could be several buds growing at different rates so one plant can keep blossoming for a long time. Flowers can reach a height of up to eight inches (20 centimeters) and around five inches (13 centimeters) in diameter. It is easy to grow and is of very pleasing demeanour. TW