This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, referring to the beauty of the flower, and the night-blooming habit). Con-volwdaceae. Moonflower. Twining perennial herbs with large night-blooming flowers.
Flowers white or purple, fragrant, showy; sepals 5, the outer ones with horn-like tips; corolla salver-form, the limb more or less flat, the tube very long and not dilated at the throat; stamens 5, exserted; style capitate and obscurely 2-lobed; ovules 4: leaves broad, alternate. - Three species in tropical Amer., two of which are widely cultivated By some, the genus is united with Ipomoea, but it is well distinguished by the salver-form rather than funnelform or bell-shaped corolla, by the exserted stamens and style, and by the night-blooming habit.
House (C. speciosum, Choisy. Ipomoea Bona-nox, Linn.). Moonflower. Fig. 750. stem 10-20 ft. high, with milky juice: leaves 3-8 in. long, cordate to hastate, angular or 3-lobed, acute, glabrous: peduncles 2-6 in. long, 1-7-flowered, equaling the petioles; corolla 3-6 in. long, 3-6 in. wide, trumpet-shaped, white, sometimes with greenish plaits; flowersfragrant,usually closing in the morning, sometimes remaining open till noon. Aug., Sept. B.M. 752. B.R. 11:889, 917 (as Ipomoea latiflora). Gn. 21, p. 259; 27, p. 473. V. 10:359. Known in gardens chiefly as Ipomoea Bona-nox variety grandiflora, Hort. (1. grandiflora, Roxbg. and Hort., not Lam.), which does not differ materially from the type. Most of the large-fid. and very fragrant forms in cult, may be referred here. variety grandiflorum, Hort., is sold under the following names: Ipomoea Childsii,
I. noctiphyton, I. noctiflora, I. mexicana grandiflora, I. mexicana grandiflora alba, I. mexicana grandiflora vera. These trade names represent strains of varying excellence. (C. grandiflorum, Choisy, is I pomoea Tuba.) A form with variegated leaves is offered. variety heterophyllum, has leaves 3-5-lobed and subhastate. - The moonflower is most popular as a garden plant, but it also does well trained along the roof of a low house or against a pillar. It is excellent for cut-flowers in the evening. Little grown in the open N. because it does not mature in the short seasons. It grows wild in swamps and thickets in peninsular Fla., and is probably indigenous there. Widespread in tropics of both hemispheres.
Fig. 750. Moonflower-Calonyction aculeatum. (X 1/4)
G. Don. (Convolvulus muricatus, Linn. I pomoea muricata, Jacq. Calonyction speciosum variety muricatum, Choisy). Flowers purple, smaller than those of C. speciosum, the tube very slender and the expanded partof the tubenot over 3 in. broad. - Tropical regions; extensively cult, in Japan and India, and often seen in American conservatories.
C. tastense. House (I pomoea tastense, Brandeg.), is the third speciesof Calonyction. It is native to Lower Calif., and not in cultivation C. grandiflorum, C h o i s y.=I p o m oe a Tuba. L. H. B.