If you love unusual plants, than the Brunfelsia Americana or the Lady of the Night is one of the most unusual that you will find. It is very hard to find for sale, but there are some nursery and plant websites that have the seeds or young plants for sale. What makes this plant so amazing? The plant lets out a powerful aroma just a few seconds after sundown and then will close up and not have any smell during the day. The aroma lasts all evening and gives the night a pleasant sweet smell that one could hardly forget.
The smell of the Brunfelsia Americana is a fragrance that is complex and satisfying. Once you get a smell you will be coming back again and again. It smells somewhat like Jasmine but has a lasting smell of cloves and cinnamon. If you smell it for the first time with other people, you can be sure the conversation will turn back to the aroma over and over. This flower is normally native to the West Indies, but it is gaining popularity in the United States year by year. It is an upright plant with a leathery, dark green, leaf. The great thing about this plant is that pests rarely bother it.
Some people consider the Brunfelsia Americana a shrub, but with its thin, delicate appearance it is hard to imagine a shrub at all. The thin plant grows straight up with only intermediate branching. With so little limbs and appendages there is very little pruning needed at all. It is pretty tough because it needs very little water and even less food. If you get one of these plants in your house or in your yard, you can expect a long life if you take care of them. Some plants have shown good health even after twenty years.
The flowering cycle in a tropical climate like Southern Florida can be as little as a small cluster or can expand up to five feet. The flowers, about five inches, are white and will fade to a pale yellow as it ages. When the cycle is right, the Brunfelsia Americana can fill the night with its beautiful smells as some plants exhibit 100s of flowers on one evening alone. You will especially see this extravaganza during the humid part of the summer, because the humidity helps the plant bloom and holds its fragrance.
If you want to take that beautiful aroma of the Lady of the Night, the Brunfelsia Americana, inside, cut the flowers at night. This will allow you to have the best of the aroma to saturate your house with this lovely smell. Just cut the stem and place it in a vase of water and neighbors and visitors will be sure to make comments on the beautiful fragrance that the flower gives off. One flower cut and brought inside can keep your family and home smelling sweet with the smell of flowers without the chemicals and the use of an aerosol.
Steve Habib operates a landscape maintenance company in Florida and publishes useful, practical tips, advice and articles on several different kinds of plants free visitlearn more about fragrant plants
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Brunfelsia Americana: The Lady of the Night, a Plant with Attitude