The soothing white flowers of a number of night-flowering plants make great choices for summer gardens in the hot part of the Desert Southwest. Just looking at white flowers seems to bring down the temperature, which even at night can be intense. Besides, some night-bloomers are also very fragrant, so you can enjoy a unique treat when the sun goes down.
Many night-blooming plants have flowers that are light in color, so they reflect any nearby light and are easily visible. Many are also intensely fragrant. Both of these things help to attract pollinators such as moths and other night-flying creatures. Plants such as angel's trumpet (Datura, shown in picture), four o'clock, and many jasmines are heavily perfumed and are a joy for humans as well as the pollinators they attract.
Perfect for desert settings, there are also many species of night-blooming cacti. The renowned Arizona "queen of the night" blooms for a brief time in June with all flowers in a small area blooming within a day of each other. The fragrance is sweet and so strong you smell them long before you see them.
In the garden, these night-flowering plants are exciting choices around seating areas or a pool where you will be spending your time after dark. Many night-blooming flowers open very quickly, and if you?re lucky and watch closely, you might even get to see one open.