The word ‘nocturnal’ is defined as being “done, occurring, or active at night”. What most people do not realize is that this is not simply referring to animals or even humans that take advantage of dark hours. There are also different plants that grow, bloom, or even function more properly when the suns rays are not beating down on them. Below is a list of three such nocturnal plants.
Its official name being Acanthocereus Tetragonus, though more commonly know as the Sword Pear, Triangle Cactus, and the Night-blooming Cereus. Being a species of cactus, it is native to several places in the Western Hemisphere including, Mexico, Central America, South America, some islands in the Caribbean, and in some parts of Florida and Texas of the United States.
Starting from six feet and sometimes reaching up to twenty-three feet, the Cereus is tall, column shaped, and has dark green stems that are about three inches in diameter. It also has flowers with greenish-white petals that only open from midnight to dawn. They often attract bugs, such as the hummingbird moths, but the cactus also small red fruits attached to it.
Next we have the Nicotiana Sylvestris (meaning ‘Only the Lonely’), that is native to South America. It is a type of wild tobacco that exudes a strong scent at night that attracts various bugs. The plant is usually four to six feet tall and interestingly enough is poisonous if eaten. Large clusters of white flowers surrounded by yellow/green leaves make the Woodland Tobacco desirable for its beauty and smell in any home garden. The blooming time is generally mid summer to early fall, but occasionally can open earlier.
This plant is more commonly know as the “Zig-Zag” or “Fish bone” cactus. This is because the leaves resemble fish bones in the way of having a bony structure. They also appear to be to be zigzagging from one section of the leaf to the next, giving the Epiphyllum Anguliger its strange nicknames. Though plants of this family are native to Central America, this species is generally only found in Mexico. They are commonly grown in gardens for their beautiful white flowers that also release a refreshing scent. Often times these flowers will only bloom during the fall in the cool of the night.
These are only a few of the numerous different species of nocturnal plants that live in our world, many of which have yet to be discovered. It only goes to prove the fact that the earth we share is a fascinating place with vast differences in the way plants, animals, and even humans live their lives.