Last Updated on December 23, 2022 by John Power
Just like any other colors, purple flowers can be very pleasing to look at. Usually, their blooms are open whether it’s day or night, but there are some purple flowers that close at night and re-open their blooms the day after. Why do they do this? Is this a sign of pests or diseases? The answer may vary, but this phenomenon is not something new in the world of plants and gardening! If you wanna know more, let’s take a look.
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Why Do Some Purple Flowers Close At Night?
We all know that the way plants bloom is affected by certain circumstances like light, moisture, and weather. But plants that close their blooms at night and re-open their blooms in the morning are called nyctinastic. They may or may not be infected by any pests or diseases, it’s just they have evolved in such a unique way–mimicking our way to ‘rest’ when the sun’s down. This type of movement is not affected by outside influences, like light and weather, but it depends on the plant itself.
There are several reasons why some plants, including flowering purple plants, are nyctinastic. First, it’s their way to avoid attacks from predators that lurk in the nighttime. For example, squirrels, skunks, and groundhogs, usually hunt for the plant’s bloom or foliage to eat. Next, it could also be their way to protect their pollen. Most pollinators like butterflies and bees are diurnal, so these flowers have to protect their pollen at night to allow pollination by the next morning.
The most well-known flower with the nyctinastic movement is ‘The Sacred’ Lotus or American White Lotus. Nevertheless, purple flower that opens in the morning and closes at night also can be found and grown easily in your garden–best if purple is also your favorite color. Because of their unique habit, sometimes, these flowers carry the spiritual meaning of rebirth or the start of something new. This is the reason that we often start our day when the sun rises.
Purple Flowers That Close At Night.
Now that we have found the answer about why some plants close at night, here is the list of small purple flowers that close at night. Some of these flowers can be grown both indoors and outdoors, as well as decorative plants for your pool garden.
‘Blue Bird’ Althea
Scientific name: Hibiscus syriacus ‘Blue Bird’
The first purple flowers that close at night are the ‘Blue Bird’ Altheas. Also known as the ‘Rose of Sharon’, this plant is a part of the Hibiscus or Malvaceae Family. An easy-to-grow perennial tropical flowering plant, ‘Blue Bird Altheas’ requires rich-nutrient soil under direct sunlight, and a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight a day to thrive well.
Scientific name: Colchium
Before deciding to buy some Meadow Saffrons and grow them in your garden, be aware that all parts of these purple flowers that close at night can cause poisoning symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. This perennial plant is resistant to common problems such as deer, drought, and heat.
Scientific name: Anemone
If you’re looking for indoor plants that open and close with the sun sets, you should try planting Windflowers. A native to Central Asia, Russia, North Africa, and some parts of America, this herbaceous perennial may bring charm to your garden with its light purple petals and bright yellow or deep dark purple center.
‘Panama Pacific’ Nymphaea
Scientific name: Nymphaea ‘Panama Pacific’
The word ‘Nymphaea’ is derived from Greek mythology about the Nymphs, fairies that are believed to protect rivers and springs. ‘Panama Pacific’ Nymphaeas are aquatic, perennial purple flowers that close at night belonging to the Nymphaeaceae Family. Their cousins, water lilies and lotuses, adapt this nyctinastic movement as well. They produce fragrant purple blooms with yellow stamens. The foliage, which is called lily pads, can grow as wide as 20 centimeters.
Scientific name: Tulipa
One of the classic purple flowers that close at night, purple tulips have been seen as the symbol of love, along with other color variations like red and yellow. This perennial plant has 6 petals that are shaped like a bulb. They can be used as cut flowers too. The downside of tulips is that they’re prone to diseases from viruses, along with root rot and pests.
Scientific name: Dimorphoteca pluvialis
Cape Daisy is an annual flowering plant native to South Africa that can be propagated using seedlings. They produce showy, non-fragrant, daisy-like white and purple flowers that close at night. They thrive well in small growing areas like containers, pots, or window boxes. Just like any other daisies, you need to deadhead Cape Daisy to allow new blooms to grow. Deadheading is one of the gardening processes where you cut the wilt or ‘dead’ flower head. When you see this moment in your garden, don’t panic. Your plant will grow back into its normal growth phase.
Fingered Poppy Mallow
Scientific name: Callirhoe digitata
You might spend extra time finding these purple flowers that close at night since they are rare. Fingered Poppy Mallow is a perennial, drought-tolerant flowering plant that attracts many pollinators. The root part of this plant is edible when cooked. They love bathing under the warm full sun and produce gorgeous, purple-colored, and cup-shaped petals with yellowish-white pistils and centers.
Common Morning Glory
Scientific name: Ipomoea purpurea
The last purple flowers that close at night are the Common Morning Glory. This plant is not cold tolerant, they close their blooms at night to protect themselves from cold and re-open when the temperature is much warmer, usually in the morning–thus they got their name ‘Morning Glory. They thrive well under all soil conditions but prefer sandy soil with good drainage.
To conclude, purple flowers that close at night are not only unique but can be an eye-catching addition to your garden as well. These flowers are not ‘dead’ or ‘sleeping’, but they rather close their blooms at night as a way to protect their pollen and get more warmth from the breezing night and as a defense mechanism from nocturnal predators.
New author in the hood. Loves gardening and flowers are my spirit animals (yes I know they are not animals but I insist). I will be covering most of the flowers’ topics here and occasionally random though as well.