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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

The mysterious "Night Flower" Cornplant (Dracaena fragrans)

Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013, at 9:14 AM
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  • This post was finished but not actually posted until AFTER I got the paper. At least it is done.

    We have some Sansevieria trifasciata (Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law's Tongue)that has flowered a few times also. I don't recall the night-time aroma, but it was in the greenhouse and could have, but it was not as big either so maybe it was not as intense.

    The flower is similar and sticky. Apparently it too does this infrequently and I would bet cool air stimulates it as well, but not sure.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Dec 8, 2013, at 9:19 AM
  • It kind of looks like a dandelion bloom in the picture...is it that fragile?...I've never seen a corn plant bloom...thats awesome!...you should name this post "Night Flower" I wonder if it's smell is strong but sweet, and if it has any value in the commercial world like in health or perfume.

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Sun, Dec 8, 2013, at 10:02 AM
  • Now about our 400 garlic sets. Just before the rains set in I planted four rows of garlic, 25 feet long.

    That averages out to about 3 inches apart but before anyone points out that they should be further apart, let me say that many of the cloves are small and I do not expect them to all be successful, so some natural culling will take place.

    Also, I will harvest some of them similar to scallions trying to end up with about 6" between each plant growing to maturity. I am not too concerned that they grow large, so six inches does just fine.

    The next post will be about some seeds I am saving. I am trying to grow mostly heirlooms so the seeds should be true to what I planted this year AND the fact that I took them from successful plants that grew in my garden should make them more acclimated than the original ones for my micro-climate.

    Have you ever noticed how productive and "tough" your volunteer plants are the next year? That is the experience from which I developed my premise.

    My volunteer bitter melons were very prolific which made us a hit in several oriental communities but not in our own kitchen. When it starts making me feel like a young man again, I will devour it. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Dec 8, 2013, at 10:21 AM
  • Thanks for pointing out that I did not give this a title chefgrape! I will use your suggestion.

    It is not fragile. Nothing fell off it when I cut and placed it in the waste bin.

    It is sticky however and drops sticky "dew" on things below it.

    I have not tasted it, but it is pungently sweet. Because of the rarity of such flowering, it might not be commercially viable unless you can force it to bloom. Possible?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Dec 8, 2013, at 10:44 AM
  • I'm not to sure I would taste it until I researched it a little more...you might start blooming at night or flower every 7 years.

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Sun, Dec 8, 2013, at 11:30 AM
  • From a reader in the warm North. Thanks Drew!

    "We have one that started to flower first time in 7 years its amazing smell but once all the flowers open its very powerful. What makes it more entertaining is we didn't know what it was till it flowered.. I did a series of photos of ours and I included my blog site if your interested..Cheers from Barrie On, Canada

    mcnairdrew.wordpress.com

    look for tears of the dragon post and its sublinks

    enjoy"

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 20, 2014, at 7:46 PM
  • Noticed the unusual flowers on my corn plant a couple days ago. Then tonight when I walked into my bedroom I was over powered by the jasmine-like aroma. It was so strong I lugged the plant into the guest room after having had the plant for several years it was a total surprise to be greeted first with the shoot of flowers and now by the fragrance. Little wonder it's named the dracaena fragrans.

    -- Posted by Montrosecharlie on Mon, Nov 10, 2014, at 8:29 PM
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