Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lady of the Night or Cestrum Nocturnum

cestrum nocturnum in flower
By far my favourite plant for my Spanish garden is the Lady of the Night, otherwise known as Dama de Noche or Galan de Noche. The people of North America and Canada know it as Night Blooming Jasmine. It's correct botanical name is cestrum nocturnum (please check out the link, its one of my new sites).

 Lady of the Night is that plant that scents the summer evening air with a perfume to die for!

ou may have thought you were actually smelling jasmine, and maybe you were, but if the Lady of the Night is in flower, its scent is powerful enough to drown out all other scents.

Well, doesn't quite disguise the smell of the overloaded sewers in the heat of summer in parts of Benidorm, but it makes a good attempt!

It's flowers are nothing to look at during the day. Lady of the Night is a bush/shrub that reaches up to 15' tall, with bunches of small greenish-white tubular flowers that are closed and droopy during the day.

As soon as darkness falls, the flowers lift up and open wide, revealing a beautiful star-shaped opening on the bells. They then emit the most wonderful perfume that simply fills the night air and can be smelled from a distance away.

Sadly the flowering period only lasts a few days, so enjoy it while you can. It is reputed to discourage mosquitoes too, and that could be correct because the Night Blooming Jasmine is highly scented to attract some of the bigger insects like moths, that can effectively pollinate the flowers.

I don't know if moths also eat mosquitoes, and so mosquitoes stay away? Perhaps.

Cestrum nocturnum flowers up to 4 times a year.

1 comment:

  1. what a beautifull plant would that grow well here in the uk