I want to talk about fragrant plants. My good friend Gerrianne loves fragrant plants. She always plants them near her swimming pool so she can enjoy them while she is swimming (usually at night). I think many people pick plants based on fragrance so I will share a few. The night fragrant plants are that way so they can attract night flying pollinators. The butterflies and bees are not flying at night, but moths and beetles are so each flower has a scent distinctive enough to attract these pollinators.
The first one (I have spoken about before), is Brugmansia versicolor, aka Angels Trumpets. It is the picture with a multitude of orange trumpet shaped flowers hanging down on it. It requires full sun, good drainage and if possible, should be sheltered from strong winds. It is not reliably hardy here but I am going to give it a try with mine. I think it will resprout from the roots. The scent is strong and comes out strongest at night.
The second plant is also in the Brugmansia family. It is Datura stramonium, aka Night Blooming Jimsonweed. It is the picture of the big white flower. Some people call it Moonvine but it is not a vine and the commonly called Moon Flower is actually Ipomoea alba. This vine has a flower that looks just like the Night Blooming Jimsonweed but it grows in a vine form and is also fragrant at night. Moonflowers are also a Southern Heritage plant. I do not have a picture of the moonflower because I did not grow it this year. I did grow it one year and it was easy to grow, though it wasn't until August when it finally took off. The picture of the white flower is the Jimsonweed. This flower gets a spiny fruit on it which when ripe, splits open and releases a multitude of seeds. If you plant this plant you can expect it to reseed as it is not hardy here. I took seeds to class two weeks ago and one classmate, Lindsey, said her parents and all of their neighbors were going to plant the Jimsonweed along a rock wall lining the back of their properties. What a good idea to share them around! The Jimsonweed and Moonflower take the same conditions as the Angel Trumpets.
Another night fragrant plant is one many local farmers will recognize. It is Nicotiana sylvestis, aka Flowering Tobacco. The picture of the white tubular flower is Flowering Tobacco. This is a great plant and I grow it every year. It is not considered hardy here but mine usually come back from the roots with no problem. Flowering Tobacco is a Southern Heritage plant. Flowering Tobacco likes part shade and regular moisture. The seeds form in small shells on the flower stalks and there are literally millions of them because they are so tiny. They are very easy to germinate in the house. Just sprinkle them on a tray and I promise you, every single one will germinate. Then you can easily prick them apart and spread them around. They do not suffer from this.
The last flower which is night fragrant is Mirablilis jalapa, aka Four O'Clocks. I received my yellow ones at a Perennial Plant Society meeting three years ago and I can say I love them! It is hard to see them in the picture but if you look real close you will see a few yellow flowers open on the plants. They are also a Southern Heritage plant. Four O'Clocks spread very effectively though I would not say aggressively. Mine are in a front border and have spread to about a 6 x 6 area. I can easily pull the seedlings out in the spring if they go too far. Warning, if the plants get established they can be difficult to eradicate because of a tuber the plant forms. So plant them where they can spread a little and you will be rewarded with a solid mass of flowers and foliage that says looking good all season-even this season. Four O'Clocks are not picky about growing conditions and will take part shade and good soil. They come in other colors and I have seen some dark pink stands around town. My goal next year is to get some dark pink ones. Anyone want to share some seeds in exchange for yellow seeds? Just kidding, I found some already.
One last plant I need to mention is actually a shrub. It is Cestrum nocturnum, aka Night Blooming Jasmine. My friend Phil gave me a cutting of his in the middle of August last summer. I did not have much hope it would take but it amazingly did. This spring I planted it out in the garden and it is now about 3 x 3 and is in its second bloom. This plant's flower is not showy but the fragrance at night is said to be heavenly. The upright picture is a picture of this shrub. It needs full sun and is not picky about moisture. Phil has his planted under a bedroom window in a foundation garden. Mine has not gifted me with the fragrance as of yet, but after researching the plant I have found it may take more than one year for the fragrance to come out so be patient.
I did not get my Red Hots moved yesterday-maybe today. So I have to get in the garden....