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.