The Subtle, Secret & Sexy World Of Night Flowers

Flowers by night: picture a serene evening for yourself, alone or with your partner, and perhaps a night when you’re out for a stroll or happen to step outside to appreciate the inky, shadow-shaped beauty of foliage and fresh flowers in the dim light of the moon, with that pale glow cast by nearby street lamps…

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Even in London, even in towns and other urban centres, it is still possible to sense or scent the magic of night time flowers. For a moment it is possible to discover that the air is sweet, fragrant–and yes, find that these flowers are in full bloom.

Petals freshly bedewed? Even better.

In fact, there are some flowers that only bloom at night. A rare flowers treat for the English gardener who is used to digging in the flower beds by day and sweating under the harsh light of the sun. Not so by moonlight:

Let the yellow glow of Evening Primroses light your path

Take for example the bright yellow of evening primroses, which can be distinctly and exclusively viewed at night, as the flowering plant opens up and secretes a most wonderful perfume. Additionally, the evening primrose is an edible flower, grown and distilled into essential oil, and harvested for its edible roots.

A rare flower, indeed! An English beauty, none other than the Nottingham Catchfly

Named after Nottingham Palace, the Nottingham Catchfly is for the most part past its prime blooming season, but you still may be lucky enough to catch this flower plant in the early evening and twilight hours. Covering the English meadows and hillsides with their branchy, wooden stalks, a whorl of off white and purplish grey petals open outward as though in greeting. Well worth an expedition to spot them as they blossom.

Each of the individual flowers will remain open for three nights in succession. So if you miss them the first time around, don’t worry–you have two more chances.

A Nocturnal Orchid takes no chances

This orchid isn’t taking any chances, though. Just in case you might have missed it by any propitiously soft and glowing ambient light, it gives off a strong and pleasant fragrance to clue you in on its presence. The blooming season for these nocturnal orchids is from late summer and through the autumn–however, they grow best in the tropical conditions of South America.

So, if you’ve been yearning for and meaning to take that holiday–finally, here’s a great excuse.

Behold the Night-blooming Cereus

Then, starting in June and July, extending all the way through until the month of September, you and other fortunate passerby and night time wanderers might find yourselves surprised and delighted by the night-blooming cereus. This rare flower is creamy-white in colour and is actually a part of the cactus family.

Making it even more special, the night-blooming cereus flower is said to bloom just once a year, to fill the surrounding block with the sweet scent that will linger until morning. Then, this night flower will curl up its petals, closing them once and for all.

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