While many flowers open with the dawn and brighten the days, some flowers wait until late afternoon to reveal their blooms. These flowers, often white or shades of blue that look almost fluorescent in evening light, often have rich perfumes. The combination of scent and brightness attract moths, bats and other nighttime pollinators. After a long day at work, a garden of late blooming flowers is the perfect setting for evening relaxation.
The large white flowers of angel's trumpet (Datura innoxia) give this richly scented flower its name. Opening at dusk, the angel trumpet's blossom remain open all night and into the next day. The three-to-four foot tall plants are a good choice for planting against a fence or wall. The plants are poisonous, so children and pets needs to be kept away from them.
Evening primrose (Oenothera) produces papery blossoms of pale pink, yellow or white. The vine-like plants will spread to cover large areas and can serve as a ground cover.
Four o'clocks (Mirabilis jalapa) were once popular plantings for flower clocks--gardens with sections of plants that bloomed at a particular time of day. As the name implies, four o'clocks bloom every afternoon. The brightly colored blossoms give off a sweet perfume and have bushy green foliage.
Moonflowers (Ipomea alba) resemble their relatives, the morning glories, with the same climbing habit and heart-shaped leaves. But moonflower blossoms are much larger--as large as five or six inches across--and are a pure white.
Night Blooming Cereus
Night blooming cereus (Selinicereus) is actually a cactus, with large white flowers. The flowers are quite fragrant. It will overwinter in a container in the house.
Midnight Candy is a variety of phlox that opens in late afternoon, perfuming the air with a sweet scent. The scent has been compared to almonds or honey.
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