Thursday, September 8, 2016

White Flowers at Dusk

The rain and break in 100 degree temperatures made August much less miserable than usual. It was enough to bring the garden out of its summer dormancy. As I surveyed the garden on a recent evening, I noticed that a number of the flowers were white.

Generally, I prefer colored flowers over white flowers, but the white flowers do have a way of brightening up the garden in the evening. As an added bonus, most of the white flowers in my garden are very fragrant. 

This photo and the first photo feature Beebrush, Aloysia gratissima. Beebrush blooms a few days after a rain. It is amazing how quickly the bush is covered in flowers and bees after it rains. Because I have four bushes in the backyard, the scent of the tiny flowers is a bit overwhelming at times. I likened the strong scent to bathroom deodorizer in this Prairie Plant Profile

Another flower that blooms a few days after a rain is the Rain Lily. I think this is Cooperia pedunculata.

The flowers open in the evening and are very fragrant. I almost got a picture of a hummingbird moth feeding on the flower.

Here is a close up.

Most people are familiar with red Turk's Cap, Malvaviscus arboreus var. Drummondii. This, of course, is a white variety. I like the white flowered plant because it stays smaller and is less aggressive than the red variety.

Clammyweed, Polanisia dodecandra, is another flower that opens in the evening. The flowers will begin to wilt by afternoon on very hot days and then a new round of flowers will open by evening. This annual wildflower produces many seeds, so be cautious if you plant it in your garden.

Angel's Trumpet, Datura wrightii, produces large trumpet-shaped flowers that open in the evening and fill the air with their perfume. Bees like their nectar so much that they will often try to pry the flowers open in early evening. 

There is a lot of buzz about this plant. Here is a Bee Movie I made three years ago. It stars Datura and many, many bees. And, yes, the constant background noise is the buzzing of bees.

Bees

All of the plants described above a native to Texas and do not need much, if any, supplemental water to survive those hot dry summers.

9 comments:

  1. Amazing bee movie with all that buzzing. Beebrush makes a sparkling backdrop for your bottle tree. I didn't get as many Clammyweed plants this year as last so it hasn't taken over (yet). It blooms when other plants are just emerging from summer cutback.

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    1. I don't have many clammyweed this year either, Shirley. I am OK with that since the seed so freely. I cut back the plants every year as they start going to seed to prevent them from coming up everywhere.

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  2. Hazy on the details, but when I worked at the Arboretum we learned that white flowers at dusk and dawn guide the beetles and moths to pollinate them.

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    1. That make sense, Collagemama. I started to write something to that effect, but I was not certain that it was true and did not have the time to research.

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  3. Lovely photos and what a great bee movie!

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  4. Love this! We're doing a segment on flowers to view at night next spring and I may hit you up for pictures, if willing to share on CTG! And yes, let's hope we're truly on the way to cooler temps!

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    1. I would be happy to share, Linda. Looking forward to cooler days ahead!

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  5. I love the way your rain lilies are clustered. All too often you see them as individuals. I keep trying to get them to cluster but so far no success. Your whites do look particularly wonderful in the evening light.

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