If you’ve ever examined your garden at night, you’ve probably noticed that some flowers close when the sun goes down and open up again every morning. This is a survival technique used by a number of different flower species that protects them against nocturnal insects or helps retain moisture. It’s an interesting behavior that gives us just one more reason to appreciate the complexity of nature.
Morning glories, also known as ipomea, are a common flower species that close at night and reopen each morning, hence their name. The name morning glory actually refers to over 1,000 flower species, each with their own unique characteristics. Morning glories are popular for decorating fences and walls because their vines tend to grow well in these areas of the yard. Vines can reach a height of over 10 feet. Their blossoms are funnel-shaped and come in a variety of colors including purple, white and pink. Morning glory leaves are typically dark green. Morning glories prefer full sunlight and grow best in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions. Keep your morning glories out of the wind and cold to protect their blossoms.
The gazania daisy is a perennial hybrid flower that grows particularly well in hot, dry climates and rock gardens. They are found throughout Florida, southern Texas, California and New Mexico. This ground cover flower produces bright yellow, orange, and red petals that often appear with stripes of different shades of these colors. These flowers typically grow between 6 and 12 inches and feature bluish green foliage. Gazania daisies close up at night or on very cloudy days and open up again when the sun appears. Gazania daisies require full sunlight but tolerate poor, rocky soil and drought.
The California poppy is another flower whose petals close at night or when it’s cold and cloudy. These vibrant orange and yellow wildflowers are native to the grassy, open plains of California, northern Mexico, and the other western coastal and Rocky Mountain states. Some locations witness the blossoming of millions and millions of California poppies each year. These meadows and fields attract wildflower enthusiasts from all over the state and can be quite stunning. This flower typically blooms between late February and early April, though repeat flowering often occur in September.
Charlie Higgins is journalist, editor and translator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has written for a variety of lifestyle and niche market websites, including International Food Trader, The Olive Oil Times, microDINERO, Sounds and Colours, Connecting Worlds and The Buenos Aires Reader.