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BRUNFELSIA americana

Image of Brunfelsia americana

James Burghardt

Family

Solanaceae

Botanical Name

BRUNFELSIA americana

Plant Common Name

Lady-of-the-night

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Producing hundreds of creamy white to beige flowers in the warm months, lady-of-the-night's floral fragrance is among the most delicious evening scents of the tropics. A slow growing, tall evergreen shrub, it is native to the eastern islands of the West Indies.

The glossy green to dark green leaves cover the brown branches of this upright large shrub, which can attain a somewhat spreading canopy with great time. Blooming anytime when warm, but mainly when nighttime temperatures are comfortably cool (not in the heart of the tropical summer), hundreds of long-necked trumpets are held out from twig tips. First a clear, crisp white or ivory in color, the blossoms fade to creamy light yellow and then beige. Their fragrance is apparent by late afternoon, but is intense at dusk and into the overnight hours when it would be naturally pollinated by moths or bats. The rounded fruits are small and orange.

Grow lady-of-the-night in a fertile, well-draining soil that has organic matter incorporated, ideally acidic to slightly alkaline in pH. In hot locations shade in the midday is recommended but overall plant in full to partial sun situtions. It is a lovely small shrub for a foundation bed or mixed tropical border or container. With much time it reaches a small tree-like habit.

Brunfelsia americana looks and smells very similar to Brunfelsia nitida, the latter primarily flowering when both day and evening temperatures are warm, usually summertime.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 9

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    12'-20' / 3.7m - 6.1m

  • Width

    6'-10' / 1.8m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Spring, Fall, Late Fall, Early Winter

  • Native To

    Caribbean

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Yellow, Tan, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Orange

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Platy

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No