Monday, May 30, 2011

Ephemeral Epiphyllum and other Fragrant White Flowers

Epiphyllum oxypetalum buds

A week ago I said I thought it took two weeks for a bud to mature on Night Blooming Cereus. It only took a few days to go from a small bud to opening Sunday night. Notice another very small bud on the leaf where this one bloomed. They will bloom periodically throughout the summer and into the fall.

I read that this is called 'Tab Hua Kai Lei' in China which translates to
Ephemeral -- for a day (night).

A white Datura bloomed at the same time just a few feet away so I could compare scents. The Datura is a pure, sweet fragrance. The Epiphyllum is heavier and spicier. Datura blooms last only one day but many quickly maturing buds insure almost continuous bloom. The Epi is more of an event because it opens more slowly and close quickly by morning. Datura blooms last almost all the next day before they wilt.

Datura. You may know it as Jimson weed.
Farther out in the garden Gardenias and Trumpet lilies Regale are blooming, separated by enough distance to not compete with each other nor the Magnolia also blooming. The flowers of all of those last for several days and are fragrant in the daytime.



Regal Lily

Southern Magnolia Buds

Magnolia 'Little Gem'

What smells good in your garden right now?
It isn't too late to plant some Acidanthera bulbs to bloom by fall.


  1. You have some beautiful whites in your garden. I use many whites, but none have the character that yours show. They really are grand dames of the garden.

  2. My Epi looks like crap this year. I gave it a 'trim' last year after moving. Not sure if it is going to bloom this far, no buds.
    My gardenias are blooming their heads off...just love it!

  3. What I think is so great about Blogs on Blotancial is that it introduces us to new plants. I have not grown an Epiphyllum. Your white flowers look lovely and as for the Gardenia's twisted petals - wonderful

  4. Love, love the night bloom shots! This theme of white flowers seems very cool and refreshing on a hot day like we're having in DC.

  5. Beautiful, beautiful blooms. The gardenias are blooming in my garden. I meant to plant some moonflower vines this year. I'm not sure if I'm too late - I'm so behind!

  6. Our honeysuckle plants are smelling divine right now!! Enjoyed all your white blooms!

  7. We used to fight Jimson Weed regularly in a lot on the other farm.
    It is poisonous to cattle so I rarely saw it bloom and never noticed a fragrance except the awful smell when they were cut.

    The fragrance in my garden now comes from roses and garden heliotrope.
    The Buff Beauty has been covered in blooms and we can sit on the porch swing and the fragrance wafts to us.
    For once, my plan worked.
    My lilies haven't opened yet.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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