En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
2 ratings

Saturday - January 05, 2008

From: Deer Park, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Looking for name of fragrant, night-blooming plant with flower resembling gardenia
Answered by: Nan Hampton


The plant that I am looking for is a night bloomer, strong scented and has leaves and flowers similar to gardenia. I have seen a picture of the plant but not the actually plant. Can you give me an idea of what this plant might be named.


Here are some possibilites for fragrant night-blooming plants with white flowers, some native and some not. Some have flowers that look sort of like gardenias and/or leaves that do.

1) Moonflower vine (Ipomoea alba), native to Central and South America and naturalized in Florida.

2) American linden tree (Tilia americana), native to North America.

3) Ruellia noctiflora (nightflowering wild petunia), native to Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi and Florida.

4) Peniocereus greggii [synonym Cereus greggii] (Night-blooming Cereus), a member of the Family Cactaceae (Cactus Family) that is native to southern Arizona, western Texas and northern Mexico.

5) Epiphyllum oxypetalum (Night blooming Cereus or Queen of the Night), another member of the cactus family and native to Central America.

6) Night Blooming Jasmine, grows in tropical America and the West Indies.

7) Datura inoxia (Angel's trumpet) and Datura wrightii (sacred thorn-apple) from the southern U.S. and Mexico.

There are other night-blooming plants that are fragrant, but generally don't look like gardenias either in their flower or in their foliage. Here is an article, Florida Moon Garden, that names several of these fragrant, night-blooming flowers and from Colorado State University Extension, The Night Shift.


More Plant Identification Questions

Possible identification of native white buddlejas in Austin
July 18, 2007 - I am desperately trying to identify a plant. It looks perennial, is in full sun, is about 7 ft. tall, bloomed white blossoms (similar in form to buddleia) in June, which have now changed from rose-co...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 11, 2010 - Dear Mr Smarty Pants.I hope you can help to save my sanity! I am a true believer in using native plantings, having a yard that is 99% native. I hope that fact provides me a little extra credit towar...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a plant similar to wild lettuc
March 24, 2008 - I have a plant that was growing by my swimming pool last summer. Its some sort of wild lettuce, but i have been unable to identify it with the resources i have.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 22, 2011 - I have a rather large berry growing on a tree-like bush in my back yard here in Williamsville Vermont, I've never seen anything like it! I have a picture.
view the full question and answer

Identity of cinnamon-scented bush from Pennsylvania
May 23, 2015 - I had a "bush" in PA that the woman who sold it to me called a cinnamon bush. It had long branches with large (approx 5" long and 3" wide) dark green leaves attached evenly along each side of the...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center