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Mr. Smarty Plants - Nightflowering plants native to Northern Illinois

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Tuesday - October 12, 2010

From: Chana, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Cacti and Succulents, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Nightflowering plants native to Northern Illinois
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Looking for any/all info on night flowering plants that are native to Northern Illinois.

ANSWER:

Let's start with ones that have 'evening' as part of their common name.  You can do a search in our Native Plant Database using 'evening' as the search term in the Name: slot.  You can find the ones from that list that grow in Illinois by using the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option in the sidebar.  This will give you 16 species (plus three subspecies).  To check whether they occur in Northern Illinois, scroll down the species page to ADDITIONAL RESOURCES and click on the USDA link for the plant.  This will take you to the USDA Plants Database where you will find a distribution map.  Clicking on Illinois will give you another map showing the counties where the plant has been reported.

All the members of the Family Onagraceae (Evening-primrose Family) are, by their family name, implicated as being nightblooming. However, some of them are strictly daybloomers and I have indicated, according to my sources, which those are.

EVENING PRIMROSES

Calylophus serrulatus (Yellow sundrops or yellow evening primrose) is called 'evening-primrose' but reportedly blooms during the day.

Oenothera albicaulis (Whitest evening-primrose) and here are more photos and information.

Oenothera biennis (Common evening-primrose) and here are more photos and information.

Oenothera clelandii (Cleland's evening primrose) and here are photos and more information.

Oenothera fruticosa (Narrowleaf evening-primrose) is called 'evening-primrose' but reportedly blooms during the day.

Oenothera grandis (Largeflower eveningprimrose) and here are more photos and information.

Oenothera laciniata (Cutleaf evening-primrose) and here are more photos and information.

Oenothera linifolia (Threadleaf evening-primrose) and here are more photos and information.

Oenothera macrocarpa (Bigfruit evening-primrose) and here are more photos and information.

Oenothera nuttallii (Nuttall's evening-primrose) and here are more photos and information.

Oenothera oakesiana (Oakes' evening-primrose) and here are photos and more information.

Oenothera parviflora (Northern evening-primrose) called an 'evening primrose' but is reported to bloom during the day.

Oenothera perennis (Little evening-primrose) called an 'evening primrose' but is reported to bloom during the day.

Oenothera pilosella (Meadow evening-primrose) called an 'evening primrose' but is reported to bloom during the day.

Oenothera rhombipetala (Diamond petal primrose) and here are more photos and information.

Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose) is called 'evening-primrose' but reportedly blooms during the day.

Oenothera triloba (Stemless evening-primrose) and here are more photos and information.

Oenothera villosa (hairy evening primrose) and here are photos and more information.

By doing a search on the USDA Plants Database for Illinois plants containing 'night' in the common name, I found one more native nightblooming species for Iliinois in the Familly Caryophyllaceae (Pink Family).  It is:

Silene nivea (evening campion) and here are photos and more information.

Here is another known nightbloomer in the Family Solanaceae (Potato Family):

Datura wrightii (Sacred thorn-apple)

Other plants have flowers that persist during daylight hours but produce scents that attract night-pollinating insects (such as moths) and bats.  Here is one in the Family Agavaceae (Century-plant Family) that is native to Illinois:

Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle)

There are, doubtless, other nightblooming flowers native to  Illinois, but this is a pretty good list.  Other nightbloomers are more likely than not going to be white or yellow or some other pale color that will reflect the most light when the moon is bright.

 

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