Sunday, August 30, 2009

Being Mooned

Vines are sometimes very tropical in nature and will not burst forth with foliage until deep into the heat of summer. The moonflower vine, Ipomoea alba, is very much like that. I wanted to grow them last year and all the seed packets had been sold. This year I did my shopping early. Above are the lovely heart-shaped leaves of the vine that it displays in July.

The seeds are hard and resistant to germination and must be soaked in wet towels for a day or two before planting in the seed pots. It is recommended they get planted directly into soil, but then I would not have blooms by August if I did so. In the photo above the plant is starting to take over the deck railing and climb across the door from the master bedroom. It actually is forcing itself over the top of the door rim and I may find it inside the bedroom some day!

The blossoms are exotic looking first in the little purple bud heads and then bursting forth like white rockets twisting into the air.

They are called moonflowers because they do not bloom until the sun is beginning to set. Then these diaphanous petals emerge just like some night fairy in a ball gown. The blossoms are 4-5 inches across. But the very best of all is the fragrance. No French perfume, no perfume worn by your first love, will smell this good. It is hard for me to get my nose out of the blossoms!


Hilary said...

Oh they're lovely. Now I'll have to find some so I can smell them.

kenju said...

What great pix!! I have grown them in pots, and they are the most heavenly fragrance!

Brighid said...

I love them as well, and the smell is Yummy. Next year I plan to mix them with the regular blue ipomoea on a big trellis. Then there will be big blue flowers in the day & white ones a night. They will over winter here if one is careful.

Dave King said...

Lovely pictures. Worth your efforts just for those, but I'm sure you'd not be without the vine. There's something very special about them.

Linda said...

Dave is right about this. There is something very special..... in the spiraling bud about to blossom, in the way they bloom at night and in their heavenly scent. How beautiful. Like Hilary, I will have to find some. Your "Room" is always a voyage of discovery.
Thank you!

Annie in Austin said...

Another Moon flower vine lover here! They sometimes bloomed in IL, sometimes didn't have enough time, but down here I can plant saved seeds in June and they'll bloom by Labor Day, continuing through October.

"Night fairy in a ball gown" - perfect!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

(eek! the word verification is "mersa")