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Moon and moonflower

A moonflower is like a morning glory, but it opens in the evening and blooms through the night. It's very fragrant. In Japanese they're yūgao (夕顔), "evening faces." In Genji Monogatari, the woman called Yūgao gets one of the most exciting stories--attacked by a jealous spirit of one of Genji's other lovers. Genji actually draws a sword and everything! (This is remarkable because mainly men in Genji Monogatari don't get any more active than slipping into women's sleeping quarters or taking walks.)

Here is a moonflower in the evening, preparing to open:

moonflower bud beginning to open

Here it is, later in the evening, unfurling

moonflower unfurling

moonflower unfurling


moonflower unfurling

And here is the moon, a night before full, at 3 am

hazy moon

And the moonflower (this time taken with a flash), fully open

moonflower (3 am) fully unfurled



Comments

( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
amaebi
Aug. 18th, 2016 12:33 pm (UTC)
How moonflowers smile to the night.
asakiyume
Aug. 18th, 2016 12:37 pm (UTC)
They surely do ♥
amaebi
Aug. 18th, 2016 04:26 pm (UTC)
I suddenly thought, last night, that the wire fences at the house we should be closing on next month offer good space for annual vines. I was thinking of morning glories, cardinal climber, cypress vine, spanish flag, cobaea, even sweet peas, since some are partly shaded. (I need to dig trenches and fill them with compost, though.) But I hadn't thought of moonflower, and now I do. Thanks! On my own behalf, and on behalf of hawkmoths!

Edited at 2016-08-18 04:26 pm (UTC)
asakiyume
Aug. 18th, 2016 04:30 pm (UTC)
You are most welcome!! Your fences will be so beautiful! (And fragrant)
amaebi
Aug. 18th, 2016 05:03 pm (UTC)
If it works, anyway. :D
yamamanama
Aug. 18th, 2016 12:47 pm (UTC)
The furled moonflower looks so cool.
asakiyume
Aug. 18th, 2016 12:50 pm (UTC)
On twitter some people said like a unicorn horn. I was thinking of soft-serve ice cream.
osprey_archer
Aug. 18th, 2016 01:31 pm (UTC)
The furled moonflower looks like a unicorn horn.
asakiyume
Aug. 18th, 2016 02:04 pm (UTC)
Yes! This shape--like certain shells--is so beautiful.
puddleshark
Aug. 18th, 2016 01:32 pm (UTC)
How spectacularly beautiful! Thank you.

Are they scented, to draw the moths?
asakiyume
Aug. 18th, 2016 02:03 pm (UTC)
They are! Very, very fragrant. (Though the only insect I happened to see on it was an earwig :-\)
heleninwales
Aug. 18th, 2016 01:54 pm (UTC)
How fascinating! And how beautiful.
asakiyume
Aug. 18th, 2016 02:03 pm (UTC)
And very big! About as big as my hand with fingers spread.
lifeinroseland
Aug. 18th, 2016 02:13 pm (UTC)
Gorgeous! I can almost smell it.
asakiyume
Aug. 18th, 2016 02:26 pm (UTC)
It was very fragrant, very sweet!
sartorias
Aug. 18th, 2016 02:15 pm (UTC)
Wow! Those are magical.
asakiyume
Aug. 18th, 2016 02:26 pm (UTC)
It truly does seem like an enchanted blossom--or one that casts an enchantment.
mnfaure
Aug. 18th, 2016 03:48 pm (UTC)
How lovely!
asakiyume
Aug. 18th, 2016 04:30 pm (UTC)
It was so exciting to watch it happen, over the course of the night.
sovay
Aug. 18th, 2016 06:24 pm (UTC)
And the moonflower (this time taken with a flash), fully open

I like the juxtaposition of the last two photographs the best, although the tightly furled moonflower of the first photo has a seashell, unicorn look.
asakiyume
Aug. 19th, 2016 02:58 am (UTC)
If I had a super fancy camera, I would have liked to have taken that last photo without a flash, so it could have seemed all ghost-luminous, the way it actually did in the bright moonlight.

But this is a good second best.
queenoftheskies
Aug. 18th, 2016 07:23 pm (UTC)
They're so lovely. I would love to see one in person some day!
asakiyume
Aug. 19th, 2016 02:58 am (UTC)
I wonder if they could grow where you are--I bet they could.
pdlloyd
Aug. 18th, 2016 11:32 pm (UTC)
¡Que bonita!

I've always loved morning glories! These seem like a perfect companion in the garden.
asakiyume
Aug. 19th, 2016 02:59 am (UTC)
I love morning glories too--we had them when I was little, and I always want to grow them.
heliopausa
Aug. 19th, 2016 02:37 am (UTC)
I love the perfect curves of the furled flower, like a sword, and how amazingly it opens to gentleness.
asakiyume
Aug. 19th, 2016 02:59 am (UTC)
What a beautiful way of putting it--opening to gentleness.
rustica
Aug. 19th, 2016 08:01 am (UTC)
That furled up flower looks just like the ends of an ornamental iron curtain rod I used to have!

And, wow - moonflowers? Who knew?! Thank you for telling me about them.
asakiyume
Aug. 19th, 2016 12:03 pm (UTC)
My grandmother had a curtain rod like that, now that you mention it! I'd forgotten about it until now!

I've tried growing these a number of times, but starting from seeds, there was never enough time in the season for them to get to blooming (at least, not for me--I probably started too late). This time I got a seedling. So happy!
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )

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