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Jan 09 2013

Botanical Wednesday: Starry moon

Moon-Flower-Blooms

(via Smashingl Lists)

14 comments

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  1. 1
    A. R

    Great source of atropine!

  2. 2
    Suido

    Gasp. That’s no moon!

  3. 3
  4. 4
    dingojack

    Kinda off topic (but I got interested, then sidetracked)

    Check out: Rhizanthes infanticida & Hydnora africana.
    I’ll leave you to discover the wonders of the Underground Orchid!

    Some plants are just plain weird!

    Dingo

  5. 5
    dingojack

    Oooh look here it is!
    Ladies and gentleman: Rhizantheria gardneri.

    Isn’t evolution amazing!

    Dingo

  6. 6
    dingojack

    Idiot! I meant Rhizanthella gardneri. My apologies.
    Dingo

  7. 7
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Maybe neither star nor moon but an impressive flower anyhow o’course!

  8. 8
    Blueaussi

    Moonflowers are wonderful, I grow some every year. However, did you realize that the Smashing Lists description is pushing woo? And has mistakes all over the place!

    Moon flowers (Botanical name: Ipomoea) are called moon flowers because they bloom in moonlight. These are beautiful pink or white flowers. The flowers quickly open at night and last the entire night. They close when the sunlight touches their petals. The plant has a height of up to 15 feet. The propagation is by seed. The flower should by planted when the moon is new or increasing.

    As an obsessive gardener, the whole plant by the moon variety of woo is a massive peeve of mine, and harder to stamp out than kudzu.

    The author also seems to be conflating two species of Ipomoea, the moonflower Ipomoea alba and the large root morning glory Ipomoea macrorhiza. Neither requires moonlight for blooming. The moonflowers I grow, Ipomoea alba , open in late afternoon and hold their blooms until the sunlight begins to intensify the next morning. Large root morning glories are considered noxious weeds in some places, and I have seen them blooming under a hot July sun in the middle of an open field.

    *sigh*

    So, what is the nerd equivalent of “This is why we can’t have nice things”? You know, when you have a perfectly nice picture of a beautiful flower with a lyrical name like ‘moonflower’, but you can’t sit back and enjoy it because your inner geek is flailing about shrieking “Error! Error!” and you’re completely unable to just let it go?

  9. 9
    jayarrrr

    Looks like Datura. one of mine over-wintered last year and took over the flower bed. Some nights I had more than 30 blooms open. Very fragrant, too.

  10. 10
    Blueaussi

    jayarrrr@ #9

    I thought it looked more Datura than Ipomoea, too; but it was called Ipomoea in the blurb. Don’t know why I thought the genus would be correct when so much else was wrong. I guess the violent ‘ARGH!’ response to the planting by the moon woo locked me onto the written errors and made me forget the picture identification error.

  11. 11
    cgilder

    Definitely Datura. Love those flowers, and I love how they look when they’re just about to open and just done closing. Also like how the chickens don’t pick them bare :) Yey toxic plants?

  12. 12
    lorence

    At first blush, I too thought of Datura, but the blooms don’t look large enough and the tube they live in during the day seem to be absent in the other photos.
    They are indeed quite toxic (the primary reason we haven’t had them in our yard – too many curious kids around), but their aroma is exquisite!

  13. 13
    luslustigtig_

    I agree, it looks like a datura to me.

    I have one of these trying to take over the front yard, and when its blossoms open, bees come from all around to pollinate them. Sometimes large bumblebees get stuck inside the deep, narrow funnels of the flowers; the petal surface is too smooth for them to get any purchase with their feet and they’re trapped in a space too tight to flap their wings.

    I think the bumblebees usually get out eventually. I’m a bleeding heart though, so whenever I walk by the datura, I always stop to gently shake distressed bees out of the flowers.

  14. 14
    lpetrich

    What an oddity – a flower with rotation symmetry but broken reflection symmetry due to that twirling. Reducing its symmetry from D5 to C5.

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