Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Star is Born

Nature creates the coolest things on earth! You just need to look for them. You do NOT need to know where to look for the cool things, just look around you and you will notice the unusual, the beautiful and the special things we sometimes overlook in life.

This star was created by nature just for us. The bud is quite clearly preparing to open, but at this point we don't care about the flower. We care only about the cool pattern and the star in the center.

There are many types of plants that have cool patterns in them. Some have the patterns in the blooms, some in the bud, some in the stem, and still others in the leaves. Patterns are regular, expected and appreciated. We want to relate our world to that of nature's, so we seek out patterns and even where there are none, we create our own. At least I do.

This flower bud is of course a Night Blooming Jimsonweed aka Datura innoxia. Some call it Moonflower. Not me. I don't call it moonflower because I have grown another type of moonflower; which is a vine and totally different. Confusion runs rampant with these two flowers.

My friend Geri dug me a few seedlings from her garden last May. I could not believe after that one season of growing it how I ever could've gardened without this jimsonweed! It has a heavenly fragrance and is so easy to care for. It does need a good bit of sun though. It will self seed each year after the first year. This year all I had to do was watch for the seedlings-the result is above. Doesn't it have a great flower in addition to the bud? The flowers bloom only at night and are gone by 10ish or so in the morning. Their scent is heavenly! These flowers will NOT last as cut flowers, so don't bother cutting them.

Plant a star in your garden and enjoy the heavens through your olfactory glands-ewww-what an awful word. P.S. The ants really like these flowers too.

in the garden....looking for stars.


  1. That is very cool! I will have to go look and see if any of mine have stars. I had never noticed it before.

  2. I learned something new today. Thank you!

  3. Hi Tina, lovely to look at, yes, but it is also called locoweed. All parts of this plant are toxic, hallucinogenic, if you get my meaning.

  4. Tina,

    Thanks for clarifying the differences! A friend asked me if I wanted a moonflower plant and I was confused, having always thought of moonflower as an ipomoea! Nice star photo!

    Does one have to be careful handling it?


  5. Gorgeous Tina! It's quite a pretty weed. The buds are as beautiful as the blooms.

    I have one with black stems and double purple/white blooms purchased at a farmers' market. It was identified as brugmansia (Angel's trumpet.) It's upright-facing blooms made me think not, but I bought it anyway and set out to discover what it was. It's supposed to be only an annual. Mine was overwintered in the basement, and didn't grow at all after going outside, until suddenly in July. No blooms yet, but I'm hoping.

  6. Beautiful flower! I've only grown the Ipomoea "Moonflower" vine which doesn't look anything like this plant. I guess anyone with small children or pets might want to reconsider planting this if it is toxic. I love a night bloomer.

  7. I like that swirl around the start when they are forming. A very nice flower. I can see why people get them confused. They both bloom at night and look very similar when they flower.

  8. What a pretty bud! First I thought it was origami! Neat that it blooms at night, warm, full moon and jimsonweed. Looks kind of like hibicus.

  9. So pretty, I had never seen this flower before. You do such a good job at keeping us informed on stuff I have never heard of.

  10. Jillybean, I am betting you'll be seeing stars soon-check it out.

    Jane Marie, Thanks! You have a very nice blog. Your writing is similar to Frances'-very entertaining! And I so enjoyed doing the puzzle too.

    Frances, I hadn't heard locoweed but it makes sense since it can make you go 'loco'. Remember that term? Long time.

    Gail, Mine is grown in the frontyard and no pets mess with it. I am lucky there even in the backyard. The seedpods are EXTREMELY prickly and can hurt like crazy if you don't wear gloves, but no special handling. I think euphorbias and rue would be harder to handle. This jimsonweed is in the same family as Angel Trumpet and tomatoes and eggplants. No real special precautions. I was surprised to find out though that hornworms can eat the foliage. Yuck.

    Garden Girl, There might be an Angel trumpet that faces up, though I have never heard of one. Did you dig yours out to overwinter it? I am hoping I don't have to do that with Frances' trick of heavy mulch. Yours sounds nice and I am betting some blooms might come later or next year when it is more mature.

    PG, I love the Ipomoea moonflower and grew it once. The flower is so similar but the plant is like you said, not similar at all. Many around here confuse the two. They both smell great!

    Dave, Very easy to confuse but I loved the star.

    Dawn, Are you thinking of sultry nights in the tropics? Sounds like vacation time!

  11. Sarah, Thanks! I like to share gardening and I think folks learn too. Takes an awful lot of time though. Not sure how much I will do once I go back to work (which will be soon I hope!) But enjoy.

  12. What a beautiful flower. I did not know about the star in the center. Will have to watch for it. I have grown the vining type, thought it pretty. Will have to try that one again as now I have something for it to climb on. Night blooming cerus {sp} blooms at night also. So unique for flowers to bloom at night.
    Strong rain about daybreak. Woke me up. Noticed it caused a canna in pot in front to bend over. The flower is yellow with red specks in throat so I'm suspecting it to be Yellow King Humbert. Haven't been out to see if there is any more damage or not. Need to.
    Have a great day ALL.

  13. It is very pretty and the seeds you sent me, well, none of them grew at all. Sure wish they had.

  14. I've seen several moonflowers pictured on other blogs, but have never seen the buds as they begin to unfurl--so pretty! Thanks for showing us the details.

  15. It's lovely Tina. That is something I've never tried to grow. All the years I raised horses, I was afraid of it.

    Very unique.

  16. Lola, You know I never noticed the star before either. It was neat to see it and it photographed pretty well. Great on the rain. The cannas will recover. Love cannas.

    Mom, The seeds may still grow. Best to throw them out where you want them to grow. Maybe the perennial bed? They should stratify and they still might germinate next year. Geri says some are still coming up in her yard. Her jimsonweed is almost as tall as me. They are lovely and get large.

    Rose, You are welcomed. I think we may overlook this facet of the plant. I know I did. The star is quite pronounced once you look.

    Marnie, These would not be good growing by horses at all. Or even cows or any grazers. But in a garden up close to a house and away from pets and children (who might graze) they are great plants. Very drought tolerant and fragrant and they light up the night. The sphinx moth loves them as well.

  17. I was thrilled to find one of the two that came up from your seeds blooming Tina! There is still hope for the second one to bloom. The Saint and I both saw it at the budding star stage and thought it was awesome but I did not snap a pic. I was so excited to find it in the garden fully bloomed the next day. Once the Saint was home from work, I took him to see it and the thing was droopy. Thinking I was loosing the beauty to the drought, I put water on it and thought I had drowned it not knowing its character. LOL I was shocked that the bloom only lasted one day. Hopefully they will reseed and we will have more next year. Yep the pictures I snapped had an ant on it also!

  18. Ops forgot to say we are getting rain today!
    The same band that came through your place Lola. We have 3/4 inch in the gauge and more falling! Yippee I am so happy about the rain. The temps are finally below 90's too! We had 75 straight days of 90's or triple digits so the low 80's even though damp is nice....
    Let it Rain, Let it Rain, Let it Rain….
    Rain rain don’t go away; Stay around and let us play….

  19. Tina, I just went back and looked at the picture of the one I snapped and put on the Leaf Falling posting on Saturday. My bloom was facing up like a trumpet! Go back and have a peek. Is that what you are talking about with a facing upward trumpet???

  20. Thanks for the recommendation, Tina. I looked it up and it should grow here. I'm not worried about Ranunculus--he doesn't eat plants--I wonder what will happen if the deer or rabbits get it? (I'm trying to imagine a deer on a hallucinogen)

  21. Skeeter, Yahoo!!!! For the rain! You should never need to water this plant normally. I find mine are droopy when they are in too much shade. The Angel Trumpets are also in the Datura family like the jimsonweed. They normally face down only. The jimsonweed is the exception as far as I know as far as facing up. Angel trumpets seem to the ultimate and most gardeners love them so much that is why often you hear folks talk of them. Jimsonweed is much easier though. Much easier! Yours will self seed no problem. Don't worry.

    Cosmo, It will surely grow there. Not hardy but usually self seeds but not to the point of nuisance. I love it. It is so versatile and such a super plant-blooming in white at night and fragrant too. You should try it. Good Ranunculus does not eat plants. I don't think rabbits and deer would eat it either. Geri has not had problems with those two critters eating hers and she has many of them. I don't so I am lucky there. Let us know how it goes.

  22. Tina I had started it in the house last winter and they never came up so after 3 or 4 months I threw them out.

    Glad you are getting rain Skeeter.

  23. I'm throwing my seeds out in the flower bed this fall and hope for the best, I read about the stratifing , who knew some seeds need cold in the ground before sprouting?
    Gosh, I was praying for the rain in the south, anything to get it outta here!

  24. I need to pay attention more. That is a remarkable bloom or bud. I wonder how many other things would have a star or pattern. I need to go check my plants out.

  25. Wow, 2 more strong spells of rain since the predawn one that woke me up. Checked my cannas--The Eureka & the Wyoming that were in bloom have fallen over from weight of rain on them. Will have to prop them up in the morning. I do hope they will be ok. Strange the ones in backyard next to fence are ok. They are in bloom too. The other fell away from the wall of the house.
    Skeeter are you still getting what we are? Anyone needing rain!!!
    Dawn it made it to here. Do you still have it?
    Walking in the rain.
    Have a great night ALL.

  26. Mom, Maybe we can try again.

    Dawn, Same thing. Just look for the seedlings in the spring. They are unmistakable.

    Eve, Stars are great. Let us know if you find some other patterns.

    Lola, You are cracking me up. I can envision you walking in the rain. Sure wish I was too. Spent the day watering. Errrr!

  27. The news called our next weather pattern a squeeze play, more scattered showers....