Which flower has a lingering fragrance

Night-scented plants

Experience the beguiling scent of the night phlox, which reminds many of bitter almond oil or marzipan.

Evolutionary adaptation

It's fascinating what evolution has come up with. During the day, night-scented plants look like they have faded and are therefore not very attractive. The petals are closed, the flowers do not give off any fragrance. But when night comes, the flowers begin to open with an intense fragrance and thus attract their pollinators. Both benefit from the nocturnal meeting. Some feast on the rich supply of nectar, others secure their offspring with pollination.
The insects that accomplish this belong to the moths, more precisely to the order of the swarmers (sphingids) and owls (noctuids).

Among the swarmers, e.g. the wind swarmers should be mentioned, an imposing appearance with a wing span of about 6 cm and a proboscis of the same length for the often long-tube flowers, such as are so typical of farmer's tobacco, for example.

Night-scented flowers usually bloom in whitish tones, as this color is most likely to reflect residual light or moonlight at night. Night-scented plants usually emit very intense scent compositions, as these are first perceived by the moths flying around via the sense of smell, before the flowers are seen.

Another mutual adjustment, one would say win-win today, is the position of the flower. It is usually horizontal or lowered so that the moths have it particularly easy to fly to from the side or from below.

In the dark it is easy to rumble, a plant package with moonlight plants is available in our shop. There is also an assortment for these plants that you can sow yourself.

Even more fascinating than the fact of mutual nocturnal agreement is the observation of the approach to the flower. These fat hums stand shaking like hummingbirds in front of the flowers, extend their long trunks and drink their fill of the nectar.

You can certainly inspire your children to watch the nectar being taken when you shine a flashlight on the animals. They don't particularly like the spotlight and then fly away, but to see the big reflective eyes of the windswarmers once, the rough procedure is to be forgiven.

What do we humans get from this piece of flower ecology?

We look forward to warm summer evenings, good company, maybe a glass of red wine and the seductive, indescribable scent of our moonlight plants that lasts all night.


Fragrant moonlight plants

Evening-scented plants can be found in all forms of life in the plant world. Be it with plants with tubers, such as the evening-scented gladiolus (Gladiolus tristis), with succulent forms of life such as the pelargonium (Pelargonium triste), but above all with the many summer flowers, shrubs and trees.

Among the shrubs, we are enthusiastic about the hammer shrub species (Cestrum nocturnum, Cestrum parqui) with their unmistakable evening scent, which some people perceive as a multivitamin effervescent tablet aroma.

The night vole is one of the very first night-scented plants in spring
(Hesperis matronalis) and the moonshine (Lunaria rediviva). The night violet is mentioned as early as the 16th century. It comes from Southeastern Europe, where it can be found in alluvial forests and bushes. Here you can also find them occasionally wild. The nocturnal viola grows here as a two- to perennial perennial. In addition to the light lilac wild form, there is also a white variety and double-flowered Auslese.

The very pretty moon violet, also with a violet-like, beguiling scent, is suitable for partially shaded to shady spots in the garden. The plant is native to us and likes to grow in light riparian forests. In addition to the fragrant flower, the plant also impresses with its very attractive seed heads, which are very similar to those of the related silver leaf.

Probably the most intense night scents are found among the annual and biennial plant species. Anyone who can enjoy the wandering intense fragrances of the Gemshorn from the balcony box, from the terrace or from the house garden on mild summer nightsMatthiola bicornis) has sniffed and enjoyed the harmonious composition of vanilla, cinnamon and clove aromas, she will want to recreate it every year. The name Gemshorn comes from the horn-like appendages at the end of the seed pods. It's actually a shame that the German name only reflects the translation of the botanical name. A name that reflects the wonderful scent would certainly have suited the plant better.

A very close relative, the Levkoje (Matthiola incana "Zagreb") is probably better known to many gardening enthusiasts. This variety, which is grown as an annual, comes closest to the wild forms and also smells very nice with a hint of cloves. Harmonious scent chords result when Gemshorn and Levkoje are planted next to each other.

The star balm has a similarly intense effect (Zaluzianskya capensis) aware of oneself. Marzipan, bitter almond and amaretto are most commonly heard when you ask scented garden visitors about their impressions. The bud, which is reddish in color during the day, opens into a beautiful white, strongly scented star.

The Italian and the nodding catchfly (Silene italica,Silene nutans) are perennial shrubs whose hyacinth-like night scent inspires us every year. Our local soapwort (Saponaria officinalis "Rosea Plena") knows how to convince us with its fragrance. The evening star (Mentzelia decapetala) impresses at the beginning of dusk with its white flowers the size of a tennis ball and its delicate, seductive evening scent. The plant, which is grown in the garden as an annual or biennial, originally comes from the arid regions in the western USA.

Also at home in the North American western states is the scented evening primrose (Oenothera odorata). In addition to the orange-like, sweet scent of the light yellow flowers, you can watch the opening of the buds as if in fast motion. A characteristic common to most types of evening primrose. A fascinating sight again and again with the long flowering period from May to September.