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Plants That Come Alive At Night

APRIL 14, 2015  —  By Spencer Montgomery

1. Four O'Clocks

Four O'Clocks are tender perennials that bloom in the spring and summer. They are also called Beauty of the Night. They come in various colors: red, yellow, pink, blue and white. While they do require full sun to grow, they will not bloom during the daytime. Instead, they begin blooming at four o'clock (hence the name). When they open at night, they release a beautiful fragrance. It is said that it's the drop in temperature, rather than light, that makes these pretty flowers bloom at night.

2. Orchid Cactus

This nighttime-loving plant is also known as a Night Blooming Cereus, Queen of the Night and Lady of the Night. In India, it is regarded as a sacred plant. When it does bloom, which is rare, it does so only in the later hours of the night and looks like a lotus flower.

3. Dragon Fruit

The Dragon Fruit buds appear as early as October and continue throughout the winter into May. The main flowering happens in January though. However, like the previous plants mentioned above, the Dragon Fruit will only bloom from four o 'clock onward. By nine o'clock at night, the blooms are fully open and glow in the moonlight.

4. Wereplant

That's right: there's a plant out there called a Wereplant. It gets its creepy name from the fact that it's the first plant reported as timing its reproduction to the lunar cycle. It releases its pollen only at full moons. Why? The full moon provides the necessary pollen-illumination that attracts insects. Other species of the Wereplant have apparently adapted to spread pollen through the wind rather than relying on insects for help.

5. Moonflower

Moonflowers are fast-growing tropical plants that resemble Morning Glories, but have larger, pure white blooms. They open up at twilight in order to attract moths that provide pollination.

6. Sword Pear

Sword Pear is also known as Barbed-Wire Cactus, Triangle Cactus and more. It is a species of cactus that is largely pollinated by hummingbird moths. It blooms in the dead of night--from midnight to dawn to be exact. It has beautiful blossoms and the fruits are edible and sweet.

7. Evening Primrose

The Evening Primrose is an erect plant that has bowl-shaped, fragrant yellow blossoms that open only in the evening hours of summer and autumn. It is also called a Cure-All and has been commonly used in natural remedies.

8. Tropical Water Lilies

These stunning lilies are dark, rosy red with a pungent fragrance. While they need at least six hours of full sun to grow, they bloom only in the night.

9. Night-Blooming Jasmine

This woody evergreen shrub is related to the Nightshade family. The plant itself is not particularly attractive or unique, but the flowers are another story altogether. The greenish-white, night-blooming flowers are cultivated for their amazing fragrance.

10. Night Plox

This heirloom, nighttime-loving plant is planted for its release of fragrance throughout the evenings and nights. The fragrance is so captivating the plant has been nicknamed "Midnight Candy." However, that doesn't mean the blooms themselves are boring. In fact, they come in stunning shades of maroon, purple and white.

11. Angel's Trumpet

Angel's Trumpet falls into the genus of seven species of poisonous flowering plants in the Solanaceae family. It is named after the shape of its flowers, which resemble trumpets. They come in shades of white, pink, red, green, orange and yellow. These flowers bloom in the night and emit a pleasant fragrance.

12. Evening-Scented Stock

Deemed one of the easiest and most rewarding scented plants to grow, Evening-Scented Stock or Night-Scented Stock is a great choice for gardeners. The flowers begin to open in the later hours of the afternoon and emit a delightful fragrance throughout the evening hours. Their scent has been compared to vanilla, rose, cloves and more.

13. Yucca

Yucca is a perennial plant part of the Agave family that has distinctive sword-like leaves. Its flowers are bell-shaped and sit on top of the plant. While the flowers themselves do stay open during the daylight hours, they perk up considerably when darkness falls. They become more erect and begin releasing fragrance that attracts moths.

14. Cottage Pink

Cottage Pink is a beautiful, petite flowering plant with a big fragrance. The blossoms that bloom at night have been described as spicy and clove-scented. They are considered a great edging plant for home gardens.

15. Nottingham Catchfly

The pinkish-white wildflowers of the Nottingham Catchfly fill the evening air with a heavy moth-attracting scent. While the plant does get its name from the Nottingham Castle it was discovered growing on, it is sadly no longer there; the plant was destroyed while the castle was being worked on in the 19th century.

16. Moon Frolic Daylilies

While most daylilies clearly bloom during the daytime hours, this beautiful variety blossoms after dusk. It's worth staying up to see.