A brief look at Nocturnal Plants and their Blooms

When most people think of flowers and plants, they think of a sunny stroll in the garden, smelling flowers and basking in the noon sun. Yet beauty resides under the cover of darkness, in the form of nocturnal plants. The world we live in is a fascinating place, many discoveries yet to be discovered in our world. There are several species of plants that bloom in darkness, adverse to the normal plants which thrive on sunlight. Some of these plants will be described below.

–         Moon Flowers

Moon Flowers (Ipomoea alba) are a tropical relative of morning glories which love very warm weather. Their flowers round and white, blooming at night hence the name moon flower. This plant is perennial, vine like and best grown in a trellis, which are be pollinated by moths. They are said to have a heavenly fragrance and are poisonous by nature.

–         Bulbophyllum nocturnum

Bulbophyllum nocturnum is a nocturnal blooming orchid from a tropical volcanic island which is a part of Papua New Guinea. So far this is the only nocturnal orchid discovered to date. The fact that this was a nocturnal species was discovered by accident. Scientists wanted to see this exotic bloom because it is a rare species, yet they thought it withered without opening. One scientist took it home and noticed that at around 10 PM it bloomed and the flower withered 12 hours later.

–         Corpse flower

The Corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanium) is a giant flower that stands roughly 5-10 feet tall and its bloom smells like rotting flesh, death and decay. The plant starts to bloom around midnight and the bloom lasts for about a day.

–         Midnight Horror tree

The Midnight Horror tree (Oroxylum indicum) also known as the Tree of Damocles or Broken Bones Tree. This nighttime bloomer is so named because of the hanging pods scared travelers who looked up thinking swords or bones were hanging in the tree. This plant is pollinated by bats.

–         Evening Primrose

Evening Primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa) is from the rocky mountain region of the North American prairie. These yellow flowers bloom in late spring at nighttime and the bloom withers the next day. This plant is edible and has medicinal qualities and is used for eczema and women’s health issues.

–         Night Blooming Cereus

Night Blooming Cereus (Hylocereus undatus) also known as the Queen of the Night, is a night blooming member of the cacti family. This is a strange desert plant; it resembles a dead bush a good majority of the year, yet for one night in the middle of the summer it blooms at night and then withers away in the morning sun. The blooms are trumpet shaped creamy white flowers about 4 inches wide by 8 inches long.

There are many amazing discoveries yet to be had on our planet. New and exciting plants and animals are discovered every day. Nocturnal plant life is just one of the many amazing discoveries. There are many more species of night blooming plants besides the ones briefly described above, if you would like to learn about a few more you can click here.