Saturday, August 8, 2009

Moonflowers



Ahhh, I love these! For years we have grown these beautiful Moonflowers around the back patio. If you have followed this blog, you may have noticed by now that almost everything we grow is pretty much care free. The Moonflowers self-sow each year and love the central Illinois climate. We never have to water them. All we have to do is prune them back, as they will quickly spread. They even choke out most of the weeds.

Moonflowers are a Datura and are poisonous. Like anything poisonous, it's not a problem unless you ingest it. Touching the plant doesn't cause a rash, but I do avoid as much direct contact as much as possible. I always shower and wash thoroughly anyway after any kind of gardening, because of allergies. Visitors are warned that they are poisonous and I would never allow children unattended around them. The dog, cats, and barnyard fowl aren't interested at all in the plant. The Moonflowers do seem to attract hummingbirds and large moths. Someone recently commented on this blog that some of the most beautiful plants are toxic--so true!


As pretty as they are, the Moonflower blooms only last a day (or should I say a night). It seems like for every bloom that dies two or more will appear. If it is sunny, they will not open wide during the day. Usually in the daytime, the blooms are just a tight rolled up flower about six or more inches long.


At night, the Moonflowers are at their blooming peak and have a bright white glow to them. It is quite a sight.


I found this video on YouTube of a similar variety of Moonflower. Ours are a bit larger and more of a trumpet shaped bloom. They really do bloom quickly though!

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6 comments:

Kwizgiver said...

Love the video! And thank you for visiting my blog and sharing your error messages, too. We had the same windows up--gmail, twitter and blogger!

:-)
Allison

travelingman said...

John,

I too have always been a big fan of moonflowers. I planted them for the first time about 10 years ago. I used to have an arbor with a swing in the back yard and they completely took over the railing. I used to love sitting out there on the swing in the evening and watching them open.

Allen said...

John,

Those are so cool, I have a friend that has them in his yard, and I always wondered why the blooms were closed all the time. Now I know why. It amazes me how nature works. And you are right, Poisoned plants are the most pretty.

TC said...

Love the moon flowers, John. My sunflowers are really booming now with a few more left to open up. Have a great weekend.

John said...

@Kwizgiver, Glad you liked the video. You're welcome for my comment and thank you for making that blog post about all the internet problems!

@travelingman, I can imagine your Moonflowers taking over the railing! I am constantly cutting these back to keep the patio and sidewalks clear.

@Allen, Now you will have to visit your friend at night to see the Moonflowers open! Most of the time it is so cloudy here that a few Moonflowers are open during the day.

@TC, glad you like them, me too! I love the sunflowers too and love that they attract Cardinals.

Lydia Novak said...

Came across this site as I was researching possible moonflower allergy or skin irritation. Just to let you know, you mentioned that "touching the plant doesn't cause a rash." Well, my hands and fingers would strongly disagree with that statement! I was just harvesting some of the pods to store over the winter so that I could replant it in a different location next spring, and oh man.... my hands were on fire, and I immediately had a rash anywhere my skin came into contact with the plant. Washing with soap didn't help, but a couple Benadryl seem to be doing the trick. These are beautiful flowers, and I'll still keep them in my garden, I just won't be touching them any longer! :)

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