quite early one morning

The dog got me up at a ridiculous hour this morning; maybe he heard something he didn’t like, I don’t know. It was just as well because he was such a terrible bed hog last night (I was sleeping on a pair of hind feet), and I set the alarm to wake up early and take pictures.

Some people have this idea that because I’m retired and spend a lot of time in the garden that I get up with the chickens and rush outside to work in the garden. They can keep thinking that. I get up when the dog says it’s time to get up, and if he’s spent the night lying on his back, feet in the air (and in my face), with the fan blowing cool air on him, then he’s likely to want to stay in bed until 8 o’clock. And so am I.

Anyway, yesterday morning I noticed a couple of flowers blooming on plants I thought were never going to do anything but get bigger and bigger. There’s not much blooming here because it hasn’t rained in quite some time and I’m disinclined to have a watering regime that lets me have a huge floral display during a drought. It just seems weird to me.

But this oenothera, which was beginning to look suspiciously like a weed to me, opened a couple of flowers, and they were so spectacular I tried to take a picture of the one that was open last night, with zero success. It’s not very easy to focus a camera in the dark.

There was just one tattered flower this morning; not sure if the wind did something to it last night, or it was savaged by some over-eager hawkmoth, but here it is.

It thought this was labeled Oenothera longiflora but when I looked that up, the search engine said “Did you mean Oenothera longifolia“, and since there were dozens of entries under that name, I thought I did mean longifolia until I looked at Tropicos and The International Plant Names Index and no, I did not mean longifolia because there is no such thing as Oenothera longifolia. No such thing. A totally imaginary name, and yet there are dozens of references to it online.

It’s Oenothera longiflora, and it’s from Argentina. Or, at least, if it is that, it’s not called longifolia. It blooms at night, the flowers fading by morning, which is just too bad, because there are lots more flower buds, but I plan to be asleep.

P.S. It’s Oenothera longissima, not longiflora. A biennial from Utah. I should read labels more carefully.

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2 Responses to quite early one morning

  1. Lucie says:

    I love these. And I also love Barr’s description: “…their color is a far more intimate tone than the most brilliant moon, and about them is an air of softness and generosity which dispenses a breathable atmosphere suitable to our earth”. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any quite like this.

    • paridevita says:

      Yes. This one is new to me, and I suspect it’s going to be an annual. Got them at Harlequin’s. A knee high oenothera with huge yellow flowers. The sites that talk about Oenothera longifolia seem to be talking about some other species entirely.
      The interesting thing is that after I planted these they wilted horribly until I watered them, but after about ten days of this they completely snapped out of it and are growing strongly.

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