Another Ipomoea species that is sprawling in my community garden is the moonflower, scientifically known as Ipomoea alba. As the common name of this vine suggests, the plant bears trumpet-shaped flowers that open at night. The flowers are white like the flowers of many other night blooming plants and this is indicated on the plant’s specific name ‘alba’. It is large, when the petals are fully unfurled, it can span 10 cm across in diameter. Hence they are hard to miss even at night!
Good night shots are difficult to take but I managed to snap a picture of a blooming moonflower before darkness conquered last Sunday. That was about 7 pm in the evening. Moonflowers are extremely short-lived. They wilter by dawn the following day. Interestingly, I get seed pods all the time, probably due to pollination brought about by the numerous ants that are attracted to the nectar secreted by the flower.
I often see ants crawling in and out of the flower tube! A visitor kind of freaked out before when she noticed that while she was trying to take a sniff at the moonflower. Do you know that the moonflower blossom is actually slightly fragrant?
The moonflower is a fast-growing vine that have heart-shaped leaves and loves the sun. It can be grown by apartment gardeners provided you have a sunny windowsill or balcony. The vine can be grown in a pot, must be well-watered, especially in a breezy area. Give it at least 6 h of direct sunshine.