The Moonflower Vine

Ipomoea alba

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These are close relatives of morning glories and so much more interesting. The flowers are so big they cover the face, and have a sweet, heavenly smell. Despite being so big, the buds go from tightly furled to completely open in just three or so minutes. They open just as the sun dips below the horizon, and last all night.

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They are so delicate, like tissue paper. After all, they are only meant to last a night. The slightest rain will tear the night’s flowers.

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They are often pollinated by fruit flies. Indoors, they would be a nuisance when breeding in the food. But the flies are no pest when they are outdoors. Just like they always vanish when you finally throw those rotten apples away, the fruit flies seem to appear in time to drink the nectar and disappear when the night ends.

20161001_181906 Sometimes a bud will not open. It grows on the plant, and like all the others it reaches the point where it looks like it will burst open. But instead, it withers away still tightly closed.

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At the very beginning of dawn, the flowers stay out just long enough for the morning glories to open. Though by now they look tired and ready close.

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The flowers pull themselves shut at sunrise. I don’t know why the petals close into a tight, protective bundle just before they die.

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The scent is so sweet, night moths who haven’t yet gone to sleep for the day will land on the closed flowers.

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When they sprout, their first leaves are wrinkled like they spent a long time crammed in a too-small package.

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I hope whoever read this liked looking at my pictures of flowers!

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