While most flowering plants display flowers during the bright sunlight of daytime, some plants produce unusual flowers that open at dusk. This is done by the plants to attract certain insects and moths that only visit the flowers in the evening for nectar, and pollinate the plants in the process. Once the plants are pollinated, they can produce viable seed for reproduction.
Angel's Trumpet (Datura stramonium) is a native annual or perennial shrub that grows in the United States anywhere there is sufficient moisture and 120 days of above-freezing temperatures. The unusually large white trumpet-shaped flowers open at dusk and attract bees and pollinating moths. Although the flowers and plants are attractive, all parts of the plants are poisonous if consumed by humans or animals.
Moonvine (Ipomoea alba) is an annual vine related to the Morning Glory. It is grown as an annual in most of the United States. The flowers are large, white and trumpet-shaped and open within a few minutes after the sun goes down. They usually stay open until a few hours after sunrise. The vines can grow to 20 feet long in the right conditions. They seed is very hard and can be soaked in warm water for 24 hours before planting to improve the chances of germination, or sprouting. They can be grown anywhere there are above freezing temperatures for 120 days and sufficient moisture.
Four O'Clocks (Mirabilis jalapa) are also known as Beauty of the Night. They are perennials in USDA Horticultural Zones 9 through 11 and grown as annuals in Zones 7 and 8. They produce colorful trumpet-shaped flowers that open in the evening after four o'clock. The time the flowers open varies according to the amount of light available and the time of year. They emit what some people may consider a sweet fragrance during the evening hours.
Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa) is also known as Pink Ladies or Buttercups. It is native to the United States in USDA Horticultural Zones 5 through 9. Evening Primrose spreads by underground runners, so it naturalizes over an area quickly. During the heat of the summer, Evening Primrose declines then emerges again in the cooler days of fall. The bloom period is in late spring to early summer. The flowers that open at dusk are pink or white with large stamens covered in pollen.
Night Blooming Jasmine
Night Jasmine or Night Blooming Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum) has a bloom not easily seen when it opens at dusk. However, the flower emits what some consider a heavenly scent that can be detected over a wide area. The flowers are small, yellow and trumpet-shaped, and there are a dozen or more for each stem of the plant. The Night Blooming Jasmine grows to 4 feet tall and wide and grows well in USDA Horticultural Zones 8 through 11.