Moonflower (Ipomea alba) is a rapid growing member of the morning glory family. This night bloomer is native to the subtropics and that means you can grow it easily in Central Texas. 3,000 years ago our ancestors to the south (meso-americans) mixed natural latex and sulphur from ipomea to vulcanize rubber. Charles Goodyear had nothing on these folks!
The 4" long buds slowly swirl open as soon as the sun sets closing again at first light. If you sit still long enough you can actually watch this display come to life after dark! Night moths are attracted to the blossoms bringing even more life and activity to the garden.
Moonflower should be grown as an annual as a freeze causes it to wither and die back. Course, it doesn't matter much as this plant grows so quickly that a wall or trellis is covered immediately and the blooms re-produce for months. I toss a couple of seeds (collected from the previous year) into the same spot and voila!
Moonflower is a must for a white garden or moon garden. Check on my next post to get the full scoop about how to create these specialty gardens. Whether it's used as a specimen plant or as part of a larger color scheme, I use moonflower to make a real statement in my outdoor rooms!