Moonflower Magic

Aaahh, Moonflowers.  They are ladies of the evening, perfumed and and glowing in the moonlight.  They sleep during the day.

The variety that I have on my rose trellis is a trailing vine with huge heart-shaped leaves. One plant can reach 20 feet in length and needs very little care, just water and an admirer.

Why do they bloom only at night?  I have been told that they are pollinated by nocturnal moths.  The real answer is:  I don’t know.

The husk on the seed is very hard.  So if you are going to run out to the garden and plant a few today,let me give you a hint.  If you want them to come up through the soil in the next couple of weeks you’ll have to help  the seed get  undressed. I take my fingernail clippers and nip a little off the husk then drop them in a cup of warm water for a day or more. Then plant and keep damp.

They’ll need something to cling to as they make their upward climb, even a string will do.  And herein lies the sweet mystery of clinging vines.  One of my moonflower babies came up over a  foot away from the trellis, probably washed there by a too-strong burst of water.  I have watched it inch toward the trellis, and now a tendril has grasped it and it‘s starting its round-and-round embrace. Beautiful to watch. One of God’s little miracles .

The sun has dropped over the horizon and the pale moon glows in the summer night. Fragrance floats on the air.  Moonflowers.


~ by dottiedoright on August 18, 2010.

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