This plant is practically the antithesis of what I am typically attracted to, but when it’s mid-February and I am aching for the fragrance of fresh flowers, my standards shift dramatically. It’s akin to when I am in search of coffee while on the road or out of town. At home I am a supreme coffee snob. Good quality espresso-based coffee only and it had better have the right proportions of milk as I will not tolerate spending $4 for a puffy while cloud floating on top of a lake of indeterminate brown liquid. Away from home I will pretty much take what I can get.
Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Brunfelsia pauciflora) is curiously named for its showy blooms, which cycle through three colours, starting out violet and fading to white over the course of three days. It’s a half-hardy shrub from Brazil, certainly much too large and needy for a small space grower like me. This is the sort of plant that you can grow if you have an ample greenhouse (lucky you!) or live in a warm climate. It’s in the Solanaceae family (nightshades like tomatoes), and while I am often attracted to Solanums, this is one of the least interesting, in my opinion.
Still, those flowers are FRAGRANT. They epitomize the word floral. I must have breezed by this plant at the Allan Gardens Greenhouse at least a handful of times in the past, but yesterday I stuck my face right up in those blooms and deeply inhaled that aggressively cloying floral scent as an antidote to a slushy, gross, winter day. And then I took a picture of it.
For that reason I am renaming this plant, “Late-winter’s Desperation.”