Friday, June 4, 2010

My Moon Flower - Oenothera triloba

Oenothera triloba

Ha, I have found you my pretties! I have been calling these beautiful flowers "Moon Flowers" for lack of a better name since I found them in my garden. I should explain that when we purchased the house I live in at present, it was obvious that the original owners were avid gardeners. Unfortunately the gentleman that bought the house from those folks, when they could not tend it any further, was not in possession of a green thumb. He lived in the house for approximately a year, then rented it out for about a year. When we moved in and the snow melted, I was excited and aghast. The remains of a well-manicured garden and lawn was hidden underneath weeds and shrubbery that was reeking havoc with  the light expectations of the straggling plants underneath. I found a bedraggled peony, that I still cannot get to bloom, abysmal rhubarb, day lilies by the wagon load and WEEDS! I would never have guessed that thistles could flourish so well in the middle of the city.

So over a long period of time, I attacked the project that was my garden. I gave a very aggressive pruning to a shrub that was almost lying on the ground from a lack of pruning and winter snow that punished the untamed boughs. With the addition of light and space, I found many plants, some of which I had to question their lineage. Was that a valid plant or noxious weed? Some I left to explore, some were pulled in the name of order. The Oenothera triloba hid for a while, which I am glad of. It looks remarkably like a dandelion, so would have been pulled post haste. The real beauty and show of this special plant happens at night though. As day winds to a close and dusk encroaches, this relative of the evening primrose family struts its stuff. Literally right before your eyes, you can watch the flowers open! They only last for one night and close up by mid-morning the next day. Do not rue the passing of the flower in too short a span though, as these plants continue to bloom most of the summer. It also makes babies pretty prolifically, so you can enjoy them yourself, spread them around your garden, or share them with friends. They will turn up their nose at your gift of a dandelion until the pretty yellow blooms pop open at night. 

Hopefully you have a night full of clear skies where you are. I have to make do with pictures of the outside world tonight, as rain plummets down. May the night still live and hold promise for you...


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