Moonflower

Ipomoea alba

Common names

Belle de Nuit, Tropical White Morning-Glory, Moon Vine, Evening Glory

PLEASE NOTE: There is another plant known as Moonflower (Datura stramonium) and many confuse Ipomoea alba with it. Datura stramonium is a poisonous plant in the nightshade family and is also called as Jimsonweed, Thorn Apple, Mad Apple, Stinkwork, and Devil’s Snare.

family

Convolvulaceae, Morning Glory family, includes morning glories, dichondra, and wood rose. The family name comes from the Latin convolvo, translating roughly to “to intertwine.”

Behavior

A relative of the morning glory, moonflower has its cousin’s heart-shaped leaves and twin vining habit, but instead of greeting the Sun, like the Morning Glory does, the trumpet-shaped white flowers of the Moonflower unfold within minutes at dusk, and last for only a single night. This fascinating flower earns its name from its round shape, reminiscent of a full moon and they release a very sweet fragrance into the night air. At dawn, the large, flat flowers close by rolling up.

growth

A climbing annual or tender perennial and a vigorous grower in hot weather, Moonflower vines can get about 10 feet long up north but will get 30 feet long in hot areas. Fast growing, it twines up to 10-15 ft. in one season and 3-6 ft. wide. Moonflower vines attach themselves to supports and don’t need to be tied. But you can aim the vines in the direction you want them to go by twisting them on a trellis or some other structure. They are pollinated by moths drawn to their scent, and the presence of moths can in turn attract bats. Moonflower self-seeds easily without becoming invasive. After one day, they shrivel and begin to turn into seed pods and one can harvest the seeds when the husk turns dry and black. Moonflowers produce new flowers daily and bloom continuously from midsummer to fall.

Historical Information and other uses:

The Maya blended the sap of the rubber tree with the juice of the Moonflower, resulting in a viscous liquid that they poured into molds to make various rubber balls for their ritual games.

Some inhale the scent of moonflowers before doing divination or before going to bed in order to produce prophetic dreams. This plant also makes an ideal centerpiece for a Moon garden night-blooming plants.

What can we learn from Moonflower?

Act on inspired tasks immediately.

Moonflowers only last a day, and such is inspiration at times. But fear, distraction, and procrastination often leaves much undone. Sometimes it takes the completion of one inspired task to open us up to more opportunities. So stop over-thinking, strike will the iron is hot, and ride the momentum of inspiration until you reach the completion of a new idea.

Keywords

  • Growth
  • Inspiration
  • Sensuality
  • Energy
  • Quick action
  • Beauty
  • Movement
  • Travel
  • Manifestation

2. Seek out beauty in all forms to heighten the senses and expand your perception.

Beauty opens the senses and makes us more intuitive. It helps us to get out of the head and live more from the heart so that we may move beyond the reality we’re in and connect to something bigger. With this comes the perception of more possibilities. Moonflower vine grows extremely fast, producing vines that twine and trail in spiral helices by violently swinging about their bud tips until they make contact with something they can wrap around. So too will your perception grow when you seek out beauty and get in touch with your senses.

3. Make peace with yourself so that you may find peace with others.

Love yourself. That’s not easy to do, but it’s truly the only thing that will move you forward in life. When you have a solid relationship with yourself, it sends out a signal, much like the Moonflower’s sweet scent, that will attract true love and the regard of others.

homework

1. Spend one day jotting down any ideas you receive or tasks you need to complete. Choose one that can be completed within 24 hours and act on it without delay.
2. Carve out at least an hour of time in your day to consume, observe, or experience something you find beautiful (beautiful on your own terms). You could go to a museum. You could go shopping for a beautiful object. You could spend time with someone you find beautiful and uplifting. There is no right or way to do this, but make it a point to meet beauty in some way for eight days and note how it makes you feel. Keep going if you so desire.
3. Think of something that most people wouldn’t find beautiful and write about why it is beautiful to you.
4. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I love you” eight times. You may want to break contact or look down. You may get emotional. You may feel like a liar. Negative thoughts may convince you otherwise. Observe your reaction without judgment and honestly identify what blocks you from accepting yourself as you are, right now.

Extra Credit

1. Watch this Moonflower bud bloom.

2. On the next full moon, sit outside and gaze at the sky.

3. Make a creative work inspired by Moonflower.