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13 flowers that bloom at night

Photos logoPhotos 12/11/2019

Not all flowers bloom during the day; some defy the norm and blossom only after sunset, usually with a strong fragrance. Scientists believe the reason for this phenomenon is that such plants spread their seeds by attracting pollinators that are out and about in the night, like moths and bats. Let's take a look at some night-blooming flowers.

© jordachelr/Getty Images Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) 

This flower is native to North America but is fairly common in Europe and other parts of the world, too, as an ornamental plant, which reaches the height of three to five feet (36 to 50 inches). The bright yellow-hued flower blooms at night – in the months of July and August – and closes in the morning. It gives out a strong fragrance attracting moths and other nocturnal insects to pollinate it. Most parts of the plant are edible and are known for their medicinal properties.

© Lowell Gordon/Getty Images Moonflower (Ipomoea alba)

Commonly found in North America, the flower blooms from summer through fall at night and closes when the sun rises. Best suited to a loamy soil, the plant is a climbing vine that can reach a height of 15 feet (4.5 meters) and make for an aesthetic addition to an indoor garden.

© Getty Images Dutchman's Pipe Cactus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum)

Found mainly in the deserts of Mexico and Arizona, this plant blooms only for a single night each year (between June and July) and wilts away in the morning. The large white flowers have a sweet and strong fragrance and can bloom up to 4.7 to 6.7 inches (12 to 17 centimeters) in size.

© nine_far/Getty Images Dragon Fruit Flower (Hylocereus undatus)

The flowers of this fruit plant stand out with their large white petals and dark green leaves. They bloom between October and May; the fruit develops when the flower dies. The plant is native to Central America and Mexico, but are now widely cultivated in countries like Vietnam, Taiwan, China and Malaysia.

© ouchi_iro/Getty Images Four o'clock flower (Mirabilis jalapa)

The popular garden plant is named after its time of bloom in the evening. The heavily fragrant and colorful flowers stay open through the night and close for good in the morning. They require full sun exposure to grow and make for excellent barriers and hedges.

© mccw thissen/Shutterstock Nottingham catchfly (Silene nutans)

Named after England’s Nottingham Palace, where it was spotted growing on the walls, these yellowish-white flowers mostly thrive in hillsides, ridges, dry and sandy meadows and bloom in June and July. Nocturnal insects and moths are attracted to its strong fragrance as it blooms, for three consecutive nights, after which it wilts away.

© happytotakephoto/Shutterstock Night-blooming jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum)

This sub-tropical plant is considered as one of the strongest scented plants in the world. Native to West Indies and South Asia, the plant can reach the height of six to 13 feet (1.82 to four meters). It blooms in the night and closes during the day, from spring through fall.

© jrubacha/Getty Images Night-blooming water lilies

The tropical water lilies are found in varied colors including purple, pink, red, blue and yellow and are large – with a diameter between two to 12 feet (61 centimeters to 3.7 meters). The flowers bloom late in the evening and close up in the morning. Thriving on fresh water, which is shallow and still, these lilies can bloom several times before fading.

© kororokerokero/Getty Images Casablanca lily (Lilium 'Casa Blanca')

This night-blooming flower has varied colors including white, pink, orange and yellow, thanks to the prominent anthers and stigmas, and can grow up to four feet (1.21 meters) in height. 

© Bulbomads/Getty Images Night Gladiolus (Gladiolus tristis)

Usually grown in dense areas with high rainfall, these creamy yellow flowers can reach a height of about four feet (1.21 meters). They bloom in spring and summer. It is good to know that some parts of this plant are poisonous and can cause mild skin irritations or other allergies.

© Basya555/Getty Images Night-scented stock (Matthiola longipetala)

Native to Eurasia and southern Africa, these pink to purple colored flowers are known to release spicy fragrance as they bloom. They can attain heights ranging from one to two feet (30-60 centimeters).

© rasikabendre/Getty Images Tuberose (Agave amica)

Native to Mexico, but planted worldwide in recent times, this plant grows in elongated spikes that reach a height of up to 18 inches (45 centimeters). Due to its sweet, strong scent, the extract is used as a note in perfumery. The flower is very popular in India, called Rajnigandha locally, and is used to make garlands for auspicious occasions.

© eZeePics Studio/Getty Images Easter lily cactus (Echinopsis oxygona)

The big, funnel-shaped flowers have varied colors like lavender, pink, white and pale red. One bloom stays for a single day, but there could be several buds growing at different rates so one plant can keep blossoming for a long time. Flowers can reach a height of up to eight inches (20 centimeters) and around five inches (13 centimeters) in diameter. It is native to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.




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