Friday, August 17, 2012


Day 190
The Daily DuBrule

When you work in a specialty garden center, lots of plants come in and out of your radar screen on a daily basis. If you notice that all of your employees who are true plant geeks are buying a certain new and unusual plant, you take notice. That was the case with Cestrum nocturnum. 

I placed the order for this tropical houseplant, intrigued by the idea that it was night scented. It turns out that Dave, our resident interior plant expert, not only already had one, but a huge one, and he was singing the praises of the strong perfume. I thought I had missed the boat and they were all sold. I was bummed as I LOVE fragrant plants, especially vespertine flowers which are the ones that emit their fragrance only at night. Imagine my delight when I found a plant of Cestrum nocturnum hiding in the greenhouse. I grabbed it.

I watched as tiny cream colored buds formed all along the three foot tall arching stems. I placed it outside my kitchen window, tucked in behind a chair where I sit and relax before bed. Then I forgot about it (except to water it).

Last week, all of the Hosta plantaginea flowers opened in my courtyard. This is the "August Lily" that I wrote about a few days ago. Large white, flaring flowers with a strong perfume. With no less than 100 stems in flower assumed that when I wandered out into the garden a couple of mornings ago at 5 a.m. that I was smelling my beautiful hostas. All of the sudden I realized what it was. My Cestrum nocturnum or night blooming jessamine. 

What an intoxicating scent! It was almost too sweet and I never thought I could say such a thing. I could smell it across the yard and, with the kitchen window open, in the living room. That night I set myself up in my lounge chair on the deck and reveled in the sweet, fragrant air. It lulled me to a place of relaxation that I really needed. I could have easily slept in that chair. The crickets were chirping and the cool night air enveloped me. This plant is coming into the house for the winter. I am going to nurture it and prune it so it gets really full. Next year, I will know what to expect and it will become a regular part of my summer evening relaxation ritual. 

1 comment:

  1. I too bought one of these. I am marching outside right now to sit near it for awhile! I forgot about it and the flowers close during the day and do not emit the scent unless you stick your face right in it!