Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Night Blooming House Plant


Night Blooming House Plant, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

I've mentioned before this night-blooming house plant - its buds open at night and fill the entire lobby of my building (as well as the elevator, even after it traveled to other levels) with an intensely intoxicating aroma redolent of kewda, honesuckle, hyacinth and wasabi.

When it was in full bloom I described it as "possessing a moist, humid presence that is difficult to describe, or ignore".

Can you please help me identify it?

Perhaps this photo of the plant in daylight will be more helpful:


DSC06216, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

20 Comments:

At August 06, 2008 9:04 AM, Anonymous angela said...

Cestrum nocturnum? Night blooming jasmine, just a guess. They smell lovely.

 
At August 06, 2008 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cestrum nocturnum?

 
At August 06, 2008 10:16 AM, Blogger Ayala Sender said...

Thanks for the suggestions, I don't think that's the one though. Both the flowers and the leaves look different. "My" plant has long leaves, kind of like grass (or ginger) and the flowers are smaller and arranges in round pompom-like clusters (almost like mimosa but bigger).
The search continues...

 
At August 06, 2008 8:39 PM, Blogger ScentScelf said...

Might it be a clivia?

 
At August 07, 2008 10:19 AM, Blogger Ayala Sender said...

Scentscelf, thanks for the suggestion and for commenting!
I'm not familiar with Clivia, but googling images for it all the flowers seem bigger and orange coloured.
Any other guesses?

 
At August 07, 2008 10:38 AM, Blogger Natural Perfumers Guild said...

It's a dracena, Ayala. AKA "Corn Plant" because the leaves look like corn. I have a slightly different variety in my hard - 20' tall with a lot of stalks and blooms. It blooms here in "cold" weather in Nov/Dec. I harvest the blooms and carefully remove the white petals from the calyx, etc because those parts are funky smelling.

Dracena fragrans

 
At August 07, 2008 12:12 PM, Blogger Anya said...

I meant to say the leaves look like corn leaves.

 
At August 07, 2008 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your plant is Dracaena fragrans "Massangeana"

May I use your pictures in our online plant catalog with your copyright? I don't have flowers close-up picture.

Thanks,
Tatiana

 
At August 08, 2008 5:20 AM, Blogger Anya said...

Hi Tatiana:

Now you see how Ayala has D. fragrans, and the plant in the photo from Top Tropicals has variegated leaves - it's my plant which I referred to as closely related. See the different color of the flowers? I actually should get a D. fragrans, it's prettier!
Please write me privately about your plant catalog so I may have an idea what it's about. You can email me via anyasgarden.com

I may even have better ones, I have to check, I think they're on my yahoo group.

 
At August 08, 2008 7:27 PM, Blogger ScentScelf said...

Oh! Yes, I see it now. Good job. Isn't that cool that "mystery" became "Exhibit A"???

It's good to see all your wonderful posts after this.

 
At August 10, 2008 2:14 PM, Blogger Ayala Sender said...

Thanks to Tatiana & Marina from TopTropicals.com (and to Lymari who emailed me privately and was the one who told me about this website to begin with!) and to Anya for revealing the identity of the mystery plant. The blossoms are now all gone, and I will have to wait another year for it to bloom again. It would be interesting to see if the blossoms lend themselves well to maceration, so I might need to get my own plant eventually...

 
At August 16, 2008 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have night blooming jasmine by my porch and summer nights are the best. If you want an oil that smells similar, I buy some perfume oils from a Hare Krsna that smells just like it. The oil is called Ratarani and is some form of jasmine.

 
At December 01, 2008 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

December 1, 2008
I have had my Dracena for 20 years. It has been dying for the last 6 months. On Thanksgiving night it sent out a stalk of balls. The next night my whole house smelled like it was filled with jasmine and orange blossoms. It has never bloomed in all the years that I have had it. It only smells at night. It's crazy. I love it. Thanks to your blog I now know that other plants like it exist.
Gail,
Carmicheal, California

 
At January 18, 2009 9:33 PM, Blogger Ayala Sender said...

Gail,
Thank you for sharing your story - it's just fascinating how powerful the presence of a flowering plant in your home can be.
I'm glad you found SmellyBlog helpful and I would like to know if your plant is still drying or if it came back to life?
Maybe it was giving thanks after all these years of you taking care of it :)

 
At March 29, 2009 8:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is amazing. I've never posted a blog comment before, but my 'corn plant' that I've had for years has just sent out these long tendrils of white star flower balls that smell so strongly sweet in the night it's almost unbearable! I didn't know this could happen. Thanks to this website I know I've not been visited by an alien! To all who experience this, enjoy!

 
At August 03, 2009 7:49 PM, Blogger DiAnne said...

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=136074&id=555273218&ref=mf

 
At October 04, 2009 9:22 PM, Blogger Shazmah said...

Jasmins are my favorite flower and would like to somehow incorporate them in my wedding next year. Does anyone know when they will be in season in Vancouver, B.C????
thanks!

 
At March 16, 2012 6:11 PM, Anonymous Laurel said...

Hi there, I also have a Dracaena plant and it has just bloomed twice in the last six months. The fragrance is intoxicating, and fills our home. We love it. I have kept the seeds and plan on attempting to plant them this spring. I wish I could capture the scent for myself, but am unsure as to how to do so. Once the blooms dry out, they smell terrible. Thanks again for helping me identify it.

 
At March 17, 2012 10:41 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Laurel,
That's a lot of blooming!
I thought they only do that once a year ;-)
Glad I could be of help!

 
At February 07, 2013 7:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My plant's bloom is like the first picture...not separate blooms, a hanging cascade of blooms...looks like a Dracena, but is it really? Mine only blooms every few years, I think on transplanted cuttings, after being fed plant food, not blooming food.
Patricia
Feb.7, 2013

 

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