Brunfelsia is an interesting genus of flowering shrubs native to Brazil. Due to its attractive flowers, now it is grown in several parts of the world as an ornamental plant.
It has several common names, one of which is ‘yesterday-today-tomorrow’, denoting the three color phases of its flower.
A flower is dark purple colored when it blooms, then it becomes pale lavender and finally white. Other common names are Morning Noon Night, Sunday Monday Tuesday – all indicating the three colors.
There are several species from the same family with identical appearances. Some of them are:
Apart from these, there are also many cultivars with minute differences between them. So, telling the correct species from a photo can be difficult. Anyways, all of these varieties are usually known by the same name – Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow – and are often sold by plant nurseries.
The plant in this post is from Kerala. Its leaves are less than 10 cm long. The fragrant flowers are less than 10 cm long with calyx 3 cm long.
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Brunfelsia pauciflora is an evergreen shrub with dark and thick foliage. The plant grows to about 2 meters of height.
The simple leaves have alternate arrangement. They are about 10 cm long with lanceolate shape.
As mentioned earlier, the flowers are the striking feature of this plant. They bloom during the spring covering the whole foliage like a decorated tree. The blossoms are fragrant.
A flower is about 5 cm across with 5 petals. The calyx is usually as long as the corolla tube – nearly 3 cm.
The fruits of this plant are said to be toxic if consumed.
Brunfelsia varieties are now quite common as ornamental plants around the world. If a few things are checked, it is easy to grow in most tropical gardens without much care.
The plant takes a few years to reach its full growth.
Stem cutting is the preferred way for planting new Brunfelsia.
Brunfelsia requires good amount of sunlight, preferably full sun. However, extreme heat is not good especially in places closer to the equator. Take care to shield it from the hard afternoon Sun.
The plant grows well in slightly acidic soil. It prefers moist, fertile, and well-drained soil with a good amount of organic matter.
Once the roots are established, not much caring is required. Remember to water it during very dry seasons.
The three color phases of flower: