Whether you are considering flowers under their scientific name or common name, there are a number of varieties that begin with the letter "m"---mystical flowers that open only at night and magnificent flowers that show themselves all day, or blossoms that grow on plants, trees and vines.
Marigolds (Tagetes species) bring a fiery presence to any garden. Hundreds of yellow, orange or red varieties exist. They are hardy in plant zones 9 to 11, but can be planted in any garden as spring-summer annuals. Plant marigold transplants in pots, border gardens or flower beds and they will remain in bloom for the entire season. They grow quickly and are resistant to most pests and diseases.
Mums, also called Chrysanthemums, are well-known both as potted and garden flowers. With over 160 species of mums, even those who live in cooler climates can benefit from these perennial plants in their flower beds. Chrysanthemums come in a variety of shapes, from flat daisies to double blossoms and pom-poms. These flowers come in almost every color, except a true blue. Often nurseries sell potted mums in the early fall since they are late season bloomers.
The genus Magnolia represents a variety of deciduous trees, several of which are native to the United States. When the trees bloom, they produce flowers also referred to as magnolias. Generally, magnolias are showy white blossoms, five to eight inches across with six to twelve petals, depending on the variety. Some flowers are cup-shaped while others are flat and open-faced, depending on the species.
Moon flower (Ipomoea alba), also called moon flower vine, is a perennial twinning vine species in tropical locations and an annual garden species in cooler climes. You can plant moon flower to climb up a trellis or as a ground cover for part of your flower bed. This plant is special in that its white flowers remain closed buds during the day and open up and become more fragrant at night. Open flowers are trumpet-shaped and approximately five to six inches across.
Morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor) is a member of the same genus as the moon flower. Like its relative, it survives as a perennial in warmer climates and is planted as an annual in northern zones. Heart-shaped leaves line the plant's vines. Amidst the foliage are the morning glory flowers, which are trumpet-shaped and approximately six inches across. Flower color ranges from light blue to deep purple. The opposite is true for morning glory when compared to moon flower: its blossoms close at night and reopen as the sun rises.