8 o’clocks

We’ve been keeping an eye on a volunteer plant that has grew in the corner of the porch and house. It’s done well and has only a bit of bug damage. We’re hoping it continues to survive.You may wonder what it is about the plant that has interested us so. The thing about this plant is that I believe it to be an 8 o’clock (a variety of evening primrose, king’s cure-all, fever plant).

Over a decade ago, we raised some 8 o’clocks for a couple of seasons. We had to stop because of Japanese Beetles. Those evil little bugs infested our patch of 8 o’clocks like a plague. It was horrid. And of course, they didn’t stop with the 8 o’clocks, they ate our corn in the garden and our roses too.
So, sadly we dug up the 8 o’clocks and bagged them up and tossed them in the local convenience center.
It solved the Japanese beetle problem. We had very few japanese beetles from then on.

If the plant growing in the corner is in fact an 8 o’clock, then the seed would have had to have been lying there buried deep enough to be dormant for around 13 years. Amazing, it is.
8 o’clocks are biennial, so if it survives the winter, it should grow a stalk and bloom next year.

Okay, now for the coolest part about an 8 o’clcok.
The part that I absolutely go silly for…
At 8 o’clock in the evening you can watch the bloom pods begin to move and then burst open in full bloom. (Okay, ours was more of an 8:15 o’clock,) but each evening you could see us sitting outside in the flower bed staring at the buds. It was one of the coolest things, almost magical.The blooms close when the morning comes.

My photo of the blooms is from 2004, it’s the only good photo of the 8 o’clocks I have. I had a small digital camera back then and I wasn’t very efficient at using it.
Now I have a better camera, so I hope that the green plant is an 8 o’clock. I would love to set up my camera and make a movie of it as it bursts open in bloom.

I’m looking forward to next year and seeing if the green plant in the corner is an 8 o’clock.

Have you ever watched a flower bloom in real time?