by Alex Butova, the Witch of Herbs and Cats
...The magic of this flower is, Yesterday it opened deep purple, Today it changes color to pale lavender, and Tomorrow - will turn white!...
...One of the greatest features of all brunfelsias is shade tolerance. Most species prefer filtered light, stay happy and bloom indoors even in low light conditions; they are also great candidates for shade locations where other flowering plants may not bloom. They add a great color and fragrance to every shade garden....
Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow is a common name of purple-flowered brunfensias. Obviously, something special must be happening through these three days? Yes, the magic of this flower is, Yesterday it opened deep purple, Today it changes color to pale lavender, and Tomorrow - will turn white! Since Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow stays in bloom for many weeks, you can see flowers of different colors on the same plant over and over!
Brunfelsia is a genus of flowering plants belonging to Petunia subfamily (Petunioideae) of the nightshade family Solanaceae. The 50 or so species have been grouped into the two natural sections namely the Caribbean section Brunfelsia and a common section for all South American species. The plant genus named for the early German herbalist Otto Brunfels (1488–1534).
Caribbean Bunfelcias native to Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Leeward Is. Suriname, Trinidad-Tobago, Venezuelan Antilles. Another Bunfelcias species native to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil Colombia, Panama, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela.
Brunfelsias are widely Introduced to tropical regions outside the American continent: Assam, East Himalaya, Vietnam,India, Kenya and other African countries, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion, Windward Is. and another Pacific islands.
Most popular common names for the genus include Raintree, Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow and Lady of the Night.
Brunfelsias are tropical and subtropical shrubs. The leaves are alternately arranged, simple, and usually oval in shape. The large flowers have salverform corollas with five broad lobes and narrow tubes. Typical habitat for wild species is light woodland and thickets.
All species are very beautiful and their flowers are fragrant. Among white flowering varieties are Brunfelsia manaca - Perfume Lady of the Night with its beautiful white flowers that look like porcelain, very fragrant at night; and Brunfelsia densifolia - Serpentine Hill Rain Tree, hardy, beautiful shrub, endemic to Puerto Rico. It has unusually narrow, lanceolate leaves and yellow, tubular flowers. Brunfelsia nitida - this species creates a dazzling display of long tubular blossoms from late spring through fall. Flowers emerge pure white and age to cream emitting a spicy fragrance in the evening.
But undoubtedly the most interesting and popular are purple flowered brunfelsias. The most common in Southern gardens is Brunfelsia grandiflora and its close relatives, known by the common names Royal Purple Brunfelsia, Kiss-Me-Quick, Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow. In Peru it is known by the Spanish-Quechua name Chiric Sanang, and is actively used by Indian brujo (shamans) in “magic” rituals.
This plant belongs to the South American group of Brunfelsias, it native to Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela.
Brunfelsia grandiflora is a flowering shrub that grows up to 10 feet tall by 8 feet wide. It has a dense foliage of alternately arranged leaves each up to 12 inches long and fragrant flowers which bloom nearly year-round.
This beautiful shrub is best known for its display of purple, lavender and white impatiens-like flowers as well as for its delightful scent. The unusual popular name of this medium-sized shrub - Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow - becomes clear to anyone who observes it over the course of two or three days. Its tubular fragrant flowers change from purple to lavender and then to white over a three-day period (first they open as rich lavender blue or purple; then they change to pale lavender and finally to almost white before they fall). Then all three colors can be seen on the same plant. Fruits are corky berries, brown when mature, contains many seeds.
This may be one of the most beautiful plants growing in Florida landscapes, although many people are not aware of them. In South Florida, it flowers from Fall to Winter. In cooler climates, Brunfelsia can only be grown as a container plant that needs to be brought indoors for the winter.
Brunfelsia grandiflora has a little sister, Brunfelsia pauciflora compacta - Dwarf Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow. This slow growing evergreen small shrub has a dwarf compact habit. All through spring and early summer it blooming: abundant fragrant flowers that open rich purple and fade to mauve and white over a few days. Flowers are borne in cymes of up to 10. The flower is about 2 inches long. Perfect houseplant for a bright window!
Brunfelsia grandiflora is excellent for hedge or screening, and makes a good container plant. Even better species for container culture are dwarf varieties - Brunfelsia australis and Brunfelsia pauciflora - these are very compact growers, great for indoor gardens. It makes a lovely specimen plant and is great planted near a window or entrance where the fragrance can be appreciated. One of the greatest features of all brunfelsias is shade tolerance. Most species prefer filtered light (although can take some sun too as long as it is not too hot and burning). So they stay happy and bloom indoors even in low light conditions. Brunfelias are also great candidates for shade locations where other flowering plants may not bloom. They add a great color and fragrance to every shade garden.
Generally, Brunfelsias prefer location that is bright but not in the full sun all day. For the most blooms, select a site that gets morning sun but is shaded later in the day. It can tolerate some drought, but if buds are forming, the blooming will better if watering will more regular.
For more profuse blooming use Sunshine Booster Pikake - the best fertilizer for fragrant plants. It improves quantity and quality of flowers too. After flowering for shrub forming pruning are recommended.