Sunday, September 12, 2010

More Moonflower

For this followup to yesterday's post on moonflowers, I took more pitcures during the day today as they succumbed to the sunlight.  One of the first signs is visible in the top lefthand photo in the collage below - a tear along the fusion line between petals.  As the day wore on, the petals began to sag against the ribs (bottom right).  This vine is in shade most of the day, so the flowers seem to take several days to dry up, but eventually they do dry.  In their native habitat, they attract moths as pollinators, but even though I saw a moth flying around one this evening, I am not sure if the right moth is around to pollinate them at this latitude.  I am hoping for some seeds.
More flowers were set to open this evening and I was able to take photographs as the sun disappeared behind the hill to the west.  As expected, the first flower to start opening was on shady side of the trellis at 4:45 pm.
An hour later, it had opened even more.
And more still in another 30 minutes.  You can see the last rays of sunlight in the background on the hills across our little valley.
Meanwhile, on the sunnier side of the trellis, the buds are just beginning to unfurl.  I really like this shot because you can see the flower that is opening, two tightly furled buds, yesterday's dried up flower, and buds that are still held within the funky pointy purple sepals.
 
Finally, Keith from Holdingmoments commented on yesterday's post that moths must be attracted to this flower.  He is correct, but this earwig is the only bug that I have seen here in Minnesota that might be pollinating the flower.  I hope the earwig does the trick!
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10 comments:

  1. Beautiful flower Wilma.
    have a great week.
    Costas

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  2. An interesting plant Wilma. I should imagine that not many gardeners bother to grow something that only flowers at night. I hope you manage to get some seeds.

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  3. Nice couple of posts. I've grown Moonflowers for three seasons now, and this year from home-saved seeds. I don't trust to luck on the moth front, but use a large soft paintbrush to do the needful.

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  4. A few years ago I managed to grow one of these in my unheated conservatory here in North East England, which isn't really warm enough for it, and it produced a couple of exquisite nocturnal flowers before winter arrived. I really envy you having it in bloom in your garden

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  5. Costas - thank you. I hope yur weekend was enjoyable :-)

    John - it is odd, now that you mention it, to plant something that flowers only after dark. But it has been fun to venure out to see how it is doing. Fortunatly the trellis it is on is only 10 or so feet from the patio. ;-)

    Jeremy - they are fun, aren't they? Thanks for telling about using a paintbrush. I'll give it a try tomorrow night.

    Phil - I had been wondering if this plant would get big enough to flower before the weather got too cold for it. I think the first frost will find the plant at its prime, but I am happy that it has managed to produce some flowers. In a warmer clime, it would be magnificent! I will definitely plant it again next year.

    Thank you all for visiting and leaving comments.

    cheers,
    Wilma

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  6. What an interesting flower Wilma. We have a Field Bindweed which is about as close to this as you can get here, but this is so unusual.

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  7. Roy - well, I knew that bindweed and morning glory are related, but I had to do a search to find out the particulars! As Wikipedia puts it "Morning glory is a common name for over 1,000 species of flowering plants in the family Convolvulaceae, whose current taxonomy and systematics is in flux." Bindweed and moon flower included. Bindweed is in the genus Convolvulus and along with the Moon flower genus Ipomoea is in the Convolvulaceae. And of course Morning Glory gets its name from the fact that they curl up and die once morning is past. Do bindweed flowers close up as the day progresses?

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  8. Your just too clever for me Wilma.{:)

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  9. Roy - hardly!

    Chris - thank you! Glad you like them.

    cheers,
    Wilma

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