Moon Flower

Best Seat in the House in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Best Seat Outside the House (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

I’m being followed by a moon flower, moon flower, moon flower … leaping and hopping by my moon flower, moon flower, moon flower.  Yes, that’s my twist on the Cat Stevens’ Moon Shadow tune and I’m singing it because my moon flower Ipomoea alba is finally blooming! If you have ever seen and experienced the sultry, romantic blooms of the coquettish moon flower, you’ll understand why I’m ecstatic. If not, let me do my best to seduce you with images and description . . .

Closed Moon Flower in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Ready to Open! (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

Initially, the moon flower vine looks similar to its cousin the morning glory, but once it starts growing (in my New England climate-late August) the leaves are bigger, the flowers are much bigger-up to 6 inches, and this evening bloomer is alluringly fragrant.  I have failed growing moon flower for years because it wants heat, sun and lots of room to grow.  Unfortunately, the growth spurt doesn’t start until the beginning of August and by the time it’s ready to bloom, old man frost is lurking nearby.  Here’s what I recommend: plant moon flower vine in a sunny, protected spot where you will observe the massive blooms while enjoying the evening fragrance; on a deck railing, arbor or by a window.  Watch it, and provide ample room because this gorgeous lady will remind you of the “Little Shop of Horrors” (FEED ME!!!) once she gets her momentum, and will aggressively grow over anything in her path.

You already know that I am passionate about fragrance in the garden: Pick Plants for Fragrance,  and by the end of August, most of the fragrant lilies and other shrubs are a distant memory.  And that’s where this luscious, scrumptious vine of fragrance comes in.

Moon flower in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Intoxicating Moon Flower (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

Lastly, don’t be confused by other names for moon flower.  She comes from the family of Convolvulaceae and can be called Ipomoea alba or Calonyction aculeatum, (which are tropicals hardy in zone 10), but not to be confused with the plant Datura meteloides.  No matter what you call her, consider clearing an area for this intoxicating bombshell to take over.  You’ll be so consumed by its beauty and fragrance, you won’t mind the invasion.

To see the moon flower open, visit:

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A Garden for All