Perhaps, the first question that comes to mind would be why would someone want to have flowers that bloom at night? A lot of people would say that night bloomers cannot be enjoyed very much because they bloom when most people are asleep.
But there is nothing more beautiful than seeing flowers bloom before you sleep or to be around as you light the midnight oil to work on some stuff. As such, here are some of the flowers that bloom at night that are worth getting to know more.
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In this article:
- 28 flowers that bloom at night
- 1. Gardenia Augusta
- 2. Brugmansia
- 3. Moonflower
- 4. Night phlox
- 5. Evening primrose
- 6. Evening bloom water lilies
- 7. Casablanca lily
- 8. Angel’s trumpet
- 9. Nottingham catchfly
- 10. Dutchman’s pipe cactus
- 11. Lotus
- 12. Opening Night rose
- 13. Tuberose
- 14. Chaenomeles
- 15. Easter lily cactus
- 16. Four o’clocks
- 17. Burning hearts
- 18. Pulmonaria
- 19. Flowering tobacco
- 20. Night blooming jasmine
- 21. Chocolate daisy
- 22. Foamflower
- 23. Ten-petal blazing star
- 24. Night scented stock
- 25. Night gladiolus (Gladiolus tristis)
- 26. Night scented orchid (Epidendrum nocturnum)
- 27. Queen of the night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum)
- 28. Corpse flower
28 flowers that bloom at night
When you hear flowers that bloom at night, you should not limit your imagination to flowers that just literally bloom at night time. Some of the flowers here bloom all day but tend to bloom more majestically at night or bloom more fragrantly during nighttime. So, without much ado, here are 28 flowers that bloom at night.
1. Gardenia Augusta
We all know how fragrant gardenia flowers are, making them a popular landscape flowering plant for ages. But this specific gardenia species exudes the gardenia signature scent all day and tends to open more and become more fragrant at night.
If you plant them in the yard or the driveway, you are in for a sweet, strong scent waiting for you at dusk.
This is a very interesting flowering tree. Its trumpet-shaped white flowers hang from the tree for just a week but only at night and just during the full moon.
It makes a beautiful container plant and is hardy in zone 8. It can also be overwintered indoors with its leathery, bright green leaves to spruce up the home.
As the name suggests, this flowering plant sports bright white flowers that only bloom at night. It has one of the most interesting symbolisms and backstories in history and it goes with many names including jimson weed, datura, and the angel’s trumpet.
It has a very delicate, white sphinx which attracts butterflies, moths, bees, and other pollinators.
4. Night phlox
Also known as the midnight sweet or the 12 o’clock, the white and purple flowers of this plant are closed in the day and only open at dusk and through the night. When it does bloom at night, an addition of pink tones emerges.
The name midnight sweet is attributed to its almond, honey and vanilla scent that go strong at night which you can enjoy throughout summer.
5. Evening primrose
This one is native to North America, and it gets its name for having yellow, white and pink blossoms that only bloom at night. It has a lot of historical significance especially for native American tribes because it has long been a medicinal flowering plant.
The blooms are dried and made into tea or extracted for its oil and be used for burns, wounds, and allergies. Nocturnal insects love its yellow sphinx.
6. Evening bloom water lilies
If you have natural water features around, this should be a prime choice for your landscape.
You would love it as you gather around the firepit, overlooking the pond or small waterfall as it only blooms at night, sporting purple, pink, or crimson red colors. Compared to regular lilies, they are larger, have bigger blooms, and are sturdier.
Related: Lily Flower Meaning and Symbolism
7. Casablanca lily
Blooming only at the dawn of the evening dusk, you would love its bold flower shades of pink, white, orange, yellow, and purple. Aside from that, it also comes with a strong, fragrant scent which easily envelopes the area.
The only downside is that it comes with a price. This is because its scent is extracted for oils and perfumes and its blooms are harvested for wedding bouquets.
8. Angel’s trumpet
As the name suggests, this plant features white, fragrant, trumpet shaped flowers which blooms through the day but opens more and becomes more fragrant through all summer nights.
The only downside to having this plant around is that it is poisonous to pets and humans when ingested because they belong to the nightshade family.
9. Nottingham catchfly
This one has a beautiful backstory because it gets its name for growing wild around the Nottingham Palace, but they were destroyed in the 1900s when the palace was renovated. Because of their bright blooms and fragrance that are only present at night, it has become popular in the UK since then.
It has interesting narrow and spear shaped branches and spoon shaped leaves.
10. Dutchman’s pipe cactus
This one features a large, white, single blossom of about 10-inches in length and 4-inches in width. Strikingly, it only starts to open as soon as the sun sets.
Its fragrant scent also starts fuming around at dusk and through the evening from spring to summer. However, it has a short-lived bloom time as it only appears for three straight days. It is native to South America with dark rainforests as their native habitat.
This is basically the most popular night bloomer of all night blooming plants. With this habit, it is associated with enlightenment, rebirth, and deep spirituality. As a matter of fact, it is a significant flower to major religions such as Christianity and Buddhism, among others.
The colors of the lotus flower come in purple, red, and pink. It is said that you could smell the lotus flowers’ scent from meters away.
Related: Lotus Flower Meaning and Symbolism
12. Opening Night rose
The name already suggests that it is a night bloomer but just for one straight minute. This makes it a striking night flower aside from its signature rose scent that just fills the air at dusk. It comes in white, yellow, and red varieties and its native region would be North and South America.
It is not a part of the rosaceae family but like roses, their bright white blooms and strong scents do not disappoint. The small, white flowers of this plant bloom in clusters but only at night from spring to summer.
As a native of Mexico, it is significant to the Aztec lore and tradition where it is referenced as the bones flower and are used in special ceremonies. Its flowers are now also harvested for its bold scented oils.
You might know this more with its other name which is the flowering quince. From afar, they look like cherry blossoms resting on woodier branches. Fascinatingly, it only blooms in the dark but its bright, white, and pink flowers are hard to miss even at nighttime.
It belongs to the rose family and is native to East Asia, specifically in China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. It is a cold hardy plant that you would want for your fall and winter garden.
15. Easter lily cactus
It is also called the hedgehog cactus or echinopsis. During spring, a prickly flower tube appears sporting small clusters of white or yellow flowers that only bloom after the sunset. It is endemic in South America and is a popular cactus to use in xeriscapes and other desert gardens.
16. Four o’clocks
This should not be mistaken with the twelve o’clocks because they are two different flowering plants. This hardy perennial features deep pink, red, and yellow flowers that bloom and become more fragrant at night.
It is a perfect accent plant for tropical climates. Another fun fact about this plant is that the blooms change color from spring to early summer.
17. Burning hearts
This flowering plant lives up to its name with its fiery red color and drooping heart shaped blooms. It is very tolerant to cold climates and the frost, thriving in partial to full shade environments.
However, its blooms can only be enjoyed from April to September and just at night. The main care requirement of this plant would be dry soil as it is mostly planted in cold climate regions where moist is staple.
For a limited landscape, this hardy flowering plant is a top choice. It is native to eastern Asia and Europe. It mainly thrives in low light rooms and dark spots in the landscape.
Its trumpet shaped, tricolor flowers of pink, lilac and red only bloom at nighttime. These flowers bloom profusely from spring to summer and its only strict care requirement is to be watered regularly.
19. Flowering tobacco
As a native of South America, it is considered as perennial in the southern plains and an annual in the northern regions. It looks beautiful in an evening garden as it only grows within 3-5ft with pink, white, yellow, red, and green flowers that only bloom at night.
It offers a steady nectar supply to nocturnal insects like moths. Note however, that this plant has nicotine content, and it could be dangerous for pets.
20. Night blooming jasmine
It might not be a true jasmine, but its small, white, fragrant flowers offer a nighttime view to anyone who spots them. It is a tropical shrub with the signature scent of true jasmines. It has tube shaped flowers that only open at night. However, it belongs to the nightshade family which means that it is toxic to pets when ingested.
21. Chocolate daisy
If you want to spruce up your evening garden with some bright color pops, this fiery yellow, daisy-like flower with chocolate brown center is one of the best choices for driveways, walkways, and as underplants. While considered a tropical plant, it still grows well in cooler climates.
In warmer regions, expect these flowers to bloom after the sunset year-round. But in colder temperatures, their bloom period would be from spring up to the first winter frost.
This night bloomer is a good staple for spring gardens. It is usually planted along garden walkways, sometimes as ground cover or as underplants in large landscapes.
It grows to up to a foot tall, sporting clumps of white, heart shaped flowers throughout spring and up to early summer. It grows in zones 4-9, in full shade, and on rich, organic soils.
23. Ten-petal blazing star
This perennial is a summer favorite because of its flashy blooms and its tolerance to drought and frost. Its leaves alone are striking as they form perfect rosettes in the first year of growth and then become deeply serrated as they mature.
In its second year, a flower stem appears and after it sports white, fragrant, pointed flowers that only bloom during late afternoons and then close before the morning light from midsummer up to fall.
24. Night scented stock
This one is a desert native and since it is accustomed to the harsh temperatures of its natural habitat, it only blooms its scented, purple flowers once during the full moons of spring and during winter nights.
It only grows at just 2ft and after it sets its seeds, the blooms would fade and then the whole plant dies. At the next monsoon season, a new plant would take its place.
25. Night gladiolus (Gladiolus tristis)
This popular coastal flowering plant features white and yellow clumps of flowers that only bloom after dusk from late spring to midsummer. It also sports a significant spicy scent.
It is a California native, but it is not drought tolerant and requires a lot of moisture. The main downside of this plant, however, is that it is also quite toxic to pets, animals, and humans.
26. Night scented orchid (Epidendrum nocturnum)
It might not be a consistent night bloomer because it is not dependent on pollinators to grow, but it sure has a night fragrance that you can enjoy with or without its white and yellow blooms. Its natural habitat would be bogs and swamps across South and Central America, Florida, New Mexico, and the West Indies.
27. Queen of the night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum)
This list would never be complete without mentioning this night bloomer, which in another name, is also called the night blooming cereus.
It is considered as a cactus, featuring a single, large, heavily scented, white flower that only blooms only once a year and just at night and then closes at dawn. Its native location are tropical climates, but they are adaptive and can be grown indoors too.
28. Corpse flower
You would not, in any circumstance, be able to tolerate having this plant around your landscape because as the name suggests, it smells like rotting flesh. Although it is not a landscape plant, it is still worth mentioning because it is the largest, probably the most exotic, flowering plant that blooms at night.
It grows at a maximum height of 12ft and comes with a width of 20-ft. It is found in high rainforest elevations in Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, among others.
What flowers close at night?
The focus of this post is flowers that bloom at night, but it would also be interesting to know which flowering plants close at night just to strike a comparison. Hence, here are some of the most popular flowers that close their buds at night.
- California poppy
- Morning glory
- African daisy
- Rose of Sharon
What flower blooms only at night every hundred years?
Also called the century plant, the Agave ocahui is thought to just bloom for one night every one hundred years. But according to Arid Greenhouse of the Chicago Botanical Garden, this plant actually blooms once at night on the 30th year of it having been planted and then annually after that.
What are the rarest blooming flowers?
You would think that night bloomers are already rare enough, but it would be astonishing to know that there are even rare flowers out there that you should know about. If you are curious about what they could be, just refer on this list:
- Flame lily
- Lady’s slipper orchid
- Ghost orchid
- Jade vine
- Gibraltar campion
- Chocolate cosmos
- Middlemist’s red
- Juliet rose
- Franklin flower
- Cooke’s Kokio
- Kadupul flower
- Parrot’s beak
How dangerous are moonflowers?
This night bloomer is notorious for its toxicity. As such, it is quite understandable why it has gotten all sorts of atrocious names like devil’s weed or the witch’s weed. Although beautiful for its white, trumpet shaped flowers that only bloom at night, it is said to have hallucinogenic effects when ingested.
When consumed in large amounts, it is said to affect blood pressure and heart rate which could lead to instant death due to cardiac arrest. All parts of this flowering plant are considered toxic to humans, pets, and all animals.
There are indeed a lot of things in the natural world that we cannot explain and some of them are just plain beautiful like these flowers here that bloom at night.
Having them by the bedroom, around the windowsill, or plainly in the landscape gives delight especially for night events or just wanting to have a scenic view before one goes to sleep. The good thing here is you have an array of plants to choose from and they are almost all easy to grow and maintain.