Col Hassan (Retd) looks at the potency of night flowers
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 Flowers blooming at 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. This flower is easily the best of its kind and grows with a minimum of effort.
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.
Evening primrose is as an ornamental plant, which reaches the height of three to five feet (36 to 50 inches). The bright yellow-hued flower blooms at night – in the months of July and August – and closes in the morning. It gives out a strong fragrance attracting moths and other nocturnal insects to pollinate it. Most parts of the plant are edible and are known for their medicinal properties.
Moonflower known blooms from summer through fall at night and closes when the sun rises. Best suited to a loamy soil, the plant is a climbing vine that can reach a height of 15 feet (4.5 meters) and make for an aesthetic addition to an indoor garden.
Dutchman’s Pipe Cactus blooms only for a single night each year (between June and July) and wilts away in the morning. The large white flowers have a sweet and strong fragrance and can bloom up to 4.7 to 6.7 inches (12 to 17 centimeters) in size.
Dragon Fruit Flower is a fruit plant and it stands out with their large white petals and dark green leaves. They bloom between October and May; the fruit develops when the flower dies.
Four o’clock flower is a popular garden plant is named after its time of bloom in the evening. The heavily fragrant and colorful flowers stay open through the night and close for good in the morning. They require full sun exposure to grow and make for excellent barriers and hedges.
Nottingham catchfly is spotted growing on the walls and these yellowish-white flowers mostly thrive in hillsides, ridges, dry and sandy meadows and bloom in June and July. Nocturnal insects and moths are attracted to its strong fragrance as it blooms, for three consecutive nights, after which it wilts away. TW