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Its a Friday night and I'm writing this blog - why?

Fri, Aug 07, 2009 at 07:45:05 PM

I don't normally write a blog on a Friday evening, but I just can't contain myself.  I feel compelled to shout from my rooftop - Everyone should have this plant in their yard!!!! What plant, you ask?  I have a Lady of the Night, Brunfelsia nitida planted near the east side of my house.  It has been there about five years. It is absolutely, positively one of my favorite plants!  It has been blooming for the past week.  The flowers are tubular, opening white and gradually turning shades of yellow.  Masses of flowers are produced by the 4' tall shrub.  The leaves are a deep green, always dark green.  You see, this shrub blooms many times a year.  I should keep a diary about this plant!  It never shows any insect, disease or nutritional problems.  It does not grow huge and need constant pruning.  This shrub is called Lady of the Night because of its incredibly spicy fragrance, usually present only after dark, but I've discovered that as the flowers age over a few days, the fragrance is produced earlier each evening.  Just 45 minutes ago, I was on the west side of my house, trimming my Petrea volubilis.  Suddenly, while working on the petrea, I noticed a wonderful, spicy fragrance carried to me by a southeasterly breeze on a lovely August evening.   My Brunfelsia nitida has turned on its fragrance for the evening!  I wish that I could bottle this wonderful essence and keep it with me always. 

Brunfelsia nitida is a great shrub for anyone's garden.  It remains a tidy size, is not demanding in its care, can be in sun all day or half a day and produces masses of flowers throughout the year. When it is not in flower, it is just a small shrub with dark green slightly glossy leaves.  We will be selling the Lady of the Night  and its fragrant sister, Brunfelsia plicata at the Members' Day Plant Sale, October 3.  I don't know why it is not commonly available in local nurseries, but part of what we do at Fairchild is make these really special plants available for our members through our plant sales.  We will always sell Brunfelsia nitida. a really special plant in my opinion!



Just a few of the many flowers on my Brunfelsia nitida  



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