Monday, August 14, 2006

Moon Flowers

I could not let the day pass without mentioning that tonight when I walked in my yard as it grew dark, the moonflowers opened up, and although I have seen one or two by themselves so far this year, the recent rains caused a growth spurt that brought out the blooms.

Now for those of you who do not know the moon is an ugly plant, with gorgeous, huge, trumpet shaped white flowers whose spicy smell lingers on the night air and makes the air smell downright exotic. The blooms last only one night, and droop in the morning.

Farmers consider them weeds. I got my moon flowers from a former custodian at school, Rick Colson, who kept telling me how nice they were. He brought me a few tiny plants and it took a year or two to get them growing good, to where they would reproduce I hoe off the bunches that come up, cause they are a pain to clean up in the fall. Each one of those incredible flowers will create a seed ball about the size of a ping pong ball, covered with stickery thorns. They are aggressive! When the seed ball breaks open it is full of feathery silky strands with a seed attached. They will come up by themselves, and could probably take over an entire property if allowed to.

There is nothing comparable to walking either by the light of the moon, or at dusk, down the back yard fence, where the moon flowers are growing profusely. Their stark whiteness in the dark is a lovely sight. And their smell is like no other flower I have ever smelled. I have tried in vain for several years to get them to grow under my bedroom windows. I have three puny little plants growing there now, but it is getting late in the season already, and I have my doubts if this dry summer will produce much more growth in them.

Right now, flowers and weeds are growing side by side in my garden, bearing testimony to the busy-ness of my summer. At least when I am out walking in the moon flowers, it is too dark to see the weeds.


Blogger Laurel Johnson said...

I just love moonflowers. We grew them in a big flower bed by our bedroom window at one of the many homes we've lived over the decades. I cannot get them to grow in the soil at our present home but would be happy to let them take over my entire yard. Their fragrance is amazing and they practically glow in the dark at night.

8:29 AM  

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