These flowers of extraordinary beauty can be recognized with closed eyes - by their unique pleasant aroma. As the sun goes down, this scent only intensifies. The nocturnal violet, translated from the Latin language, is called the Matrona's nocturnal. There are more than 30 species in its family.
In Europe, the night violet appeared in the middle of the sixteenth century. Our gardeners appreciated the beauty of this plant only in the eighteenth century. Hesperis quickly became a popular flower. It could be seen in gardens, parks and flower beds near wealthy estates. Modern flower designers widely use Matrona's evening party to decorate their private plots and in flower arrangements.
The night violet has a high (up to one meter) slightly pubescent stem, which branches out in the upper part. The leaves are deep green, narrow (about 3 centimeters) and long (about 12 centimeters) with a pointed tip. On high peduncles there are large clusters-like inflorescences. During active flowering, the plant is compared to lilac bushes.
Small lavender flowers consist of four petals arranged crosswise. It was not for nothing that the evening party received such a name, because it is in the evening that a unique dizzying aroma emanates from it. She has a lot in common with the well-known violet - saintpaulia, but they belong to completely different species.
Hesperis begins to bloom only at the very end of spring and pleases with its flowering for a month and a half. If the summer weather is too hot and there is no rainfall for a long time, then the flowering period is slightly reduced.
The plant propagates by seeds, which ripen in the pods after flowering. The small-sized brown seeds have good germination, which is perfectly preserved for almost two years.
Night violet is an unpretentious plant. Without any problems and unpleasant consequences for her, the violet grows in the shade of trees, under a spreading crown. She also feels good in areas in direct sunlight and in partial shade. Therefore, you can not stand on ceremony with the choice of a place for the evening party.
The plant needs a light, neutral soil with a normal water balance (without excess moisture) or a good fertile soil with a low lime content (slightly alkaline).
In late May - early June, the period of active growth and development of the plant begins. It is at this time that great attention should be paid to watering. They should be regular and timely, but not excessive. Watering is also important during hot and dry summers. With their lack, the violet can stop flowering earlier than usual. But overflows should not be allowed either, since waterlogged and waterlogged soil will negatively affect the life of the plant.
The night violet has rather tall stems and numerous dense inflorescences. This can provoke lodging of plants. To avoid this, you need to take care of the supports and garters in time.
Vechernitsa is a frost-resistant plant that easily tolerates any frost and does not require any insulation, however, in the presence of a large snow cover. If winter pleases only with frost, in the absence of snow, then it is better to cover the plants with something.
Night violet reproduces easily by self-seeding. This does not require any of your efforts. If there is a desire to propagate flowers by seedling, then this is available to every grower, regardless of his experience.
Sowing seeds of night violets is carried out around the beginning of April. In prepared containers, it is necessary to pour the appropriate soil and sow seeds directly on it. On top of them, you need to carefully sprinkle them with a half-centimeter layer of soil consisting of humus and peat, compact it a little and water it moderately. The boxes with the planted seeds should be covered with transparent foil or glass.
Containers must be kept at a temperature of at least 20 degrees Celsius. The first shoots will appear in about 15-20 days. Further development of seedlings depends on proper care. It is necessary to water young plants in a timely and regular manner, avoiding overflows. As soon as three full-fledged strong leaves appear on the seedlings, this means that the violet can be transplanted into open ground.
Having transplanted nocturnal to the garden plot, remember that the plant must adapt for some time and take root well. To do this, the soil around it must be constantly loosened so that there is good air exchange. Watering and loosening the soil helps to develop a good root system.
In the first year, the night violet only increases its leaf mass, and it will bloom already next spring.
Seed propagation can be used in spring and autumn. Seeds are immediately sown into the soil in mid-autumn, when there is still no frost, or after the soil has warmed up in the spring.
Landscaping professionals recommend using the night violet to decorate your yard, flower garden or front garden. Only when planting is it better to plant not single plants, but groups of several noctresses (up to 10 plants at once). If there are several such violet groups on your site, and even among others in the color range of plants, then with active flowering, a unique beauty and a wonderful aroma will open to your eyes.
author Anashina A. (www.podmoskovje.com), photo of the author
Vechernitsa does not amaze with the same luxury of flowering as roses or peonies. But how much charm is in a blooming night violet!
Hesperis Matrona should not be confused with the annual Matthiola bicornis up to 50 cm high. Matthiola is also often called "night violet".
Night violet, or nocturnal Matrona, Matrona's hesperis (Hesperis matronalis) belongs to the cabbage family (cruciferous). This is a lovely plant that has long been growing in our areas.
For the distant resemblance to flowering phloxes, Matrona's nocturnal is called "bull phlox" in a number of places.
Blooming hesperis by the end of summer can become more than a meter. The upper part of its stem is branched. A dense rosette of leaves of Hesperis Matrona can be recognized by the richness of the color of elongated oval-lanceolate leaves. They are dark green, with a bluish color, with a slight (sometimes almost imperceptible) pubescence.
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Seeing these flowers for the first time, you are surprised: are there really such early varieties of phlox, after all, it is the end of May in the yard? Indeed, at a distance, bright large lilac or white inflorescences of hesperis cannot be distinguished from the beloved phlox. If the first meeting with Hesperis took place in the evening or at night, you will be even more surprised. Its heady aroma will conquer and be remembered forever. Due to the extraordinary scent, the flowers have a different name - night violet. Another plant name that has survived since the time of Paracelsus is nocturnal. It also comes from the plant's peculiarities of smelling in the evening, in Greek "hespcris" means "evening". In addition, the plant is known under other names: Matrona's nocturnal (Hesperis matronalis) - the most common name, nocturnal violet nocturnal, Caucasian nocturnal, ordinary nocturnal, master's nocturnal, matron's hesperis, female hesperis.
In Europe, Matrona's vestibule has been cultivated since the middle of the 16th century. It is significant, for example, that hesperis, along with carnations and tuberose, was the favorite flower of the French queen Marie Antoinette. The flowers of the night violet came to America in the 17th century. Introduced there as a cultivated plant, this plant quickly spread and took root in the wild. In Russia, Matrona's evening party became popular in the 18th century. Flowers are planted in clumps in Russian estates, gardens and parks, grown in greenhouses for spring cutting. Now, when the interest in gardens in the natural style is growing, Matrona's evening party returns from the shadow of oblivion of recent years, bringing the atmosphere of old estates to the gardens, recalling the days that have passed in history. What is a somewhat forgotten plant?
Vechernitsa Matrona (Hesperis matronalis), nocturnal violet, nocturnal violet - one of 29 species of the genus Vechernitsa (Hesperis) of the Cabbage family (Brassicaceae), which is grown as a garden plant. Its natural habitats are the Mediterranean countries, Asia Minor, the Caucasus, as well as the European part of Russia and Western Siberia. In nature, this short-lived perennial herb can be found along roadsides and in wastelands, in vegetable gardens, parks and gardens, along the banks of streams and rivers, in forest glades and in steppe meadows. In culture, the matron's nocturnal is a more powerful and beautiful plant that is grown in a biennial culture. This is how its best decorative effect is achieved.
In the photo: Matrona's nocturnal at the beginning of its flowering. Photos were taken on May 20.
The height of the erect, branched stem of the hesperis at the top reaches 90 cm. Like the leaves, it is covered with small soft silky hairs. Leaves are simple, oval-lanceolate, elongated, with a sharp tip, located on short petioles or do not have them at all. The largest leaves of nocturnia reach 12 cm in length and 4 cm in width. Along the edge, they can be weakly toothed, arranged alternately, in contrast to a similar phlox, in which the leaves are arranged in pairs.
On the stems of Matrona's nochids, inflorescences are formed in the form of a large cylindrical brush, the length of which can in some cases be up to 30 cm. For this, the flowers are sometimes called summer lilac. The inflorescences cover numerous flowers with a diameter of 1-2 cm, which consist of 4 petals of purple, lavender or white (var. Nana candidissima) flowers. The terry variety of the night violet (f. Purpurea plena) is also known in culture. For comparison, the flowers of phlox paniculata have 5 petals.
The flowering of hesperis begins at the end of May and lasts up to one and a half months, in hot weather it is somewhat less. After that, the plant forms a pod fruit, in which small brown seeds, 3x1 mm or slightly larger, ripen. The seeds are able to germinate on their own the next year. However, the decorativeness of the hesperis decreases at the same time, therefore, in the culture, it is required to update the plantings more often.
In the photo: Matrona's nocturnal during its flowering period. Photo taken on May 28.
Planting and caring for a night violet flower is not difficult, the photo shows how it blooms profusely during self-sowing in the field.
The Madonna's evening party reproduces in several ways: by seeds, seedlings and cuttings.
Advice. To prevent self-sown plants from filling the entire flower bed, plant young shoots every three years.
Vechernitsa pods are harvested after the first frost. Small oblong brown seeds ripen in them. Seeds are sown in spring after warming up the earth or in autumn.When sowing in spring, the beds are covered with plastic wrap, creating greenhouse conditions.
The plant also propagates by seedlings. To do this, you need a container with loose soil fertilized with humus. Seeds are sown in early April, covering them with soil with a layer of 5 mm. From above, the soil is watered, and then covered with a film. The containers are kept in a room with a temperature of 20 ° C. Shoots appear in 15-20 days. After the formation of the three main leaves, the nocturnal is transplanted to a permanent place. They are seated 25-30 cm apart. During the adaptation period, the plant especially needs watering. The development of the root system is facilitated by air exchange, which provides loosening. Weeds that slow down the growth of flowers should be weeded in a timely manner.
Terry forms of hesperis do not propagate by seeds. It is necessary to divide the bush in August-September. For cuttings, lateral shoots are used that have formed on the plant after flowering.
Ripening of seeds occurs in pods, each of which contains many small brown seeds. The pods are about six centimeters long. As a rule, the seeds ripen well and have a high germination capacity without additional maintenance. Seeds are stored for no more than three years.
If you want a little nocturnal to grow near your house, do not rush to sow seeds, it is better to do this in the last days of June - early July, when the earth warms up well. Seeds are sown not thickly and not deeply; after sowing, they are carefully watered. For sowing seeds, it is better to choose a site in a shaded place, then the seedlings will not be affected by the scorching sun. Florists in the southern regions use bowls, it is easier to maintain humidity and there is no need to fight weeds.
Under natural conditions, Matrona's nocturnal is sown with seeds, sometimes the wind carries them over long distances.
Before planting any flower, you need to choose a suitable place for it. The site should be loose, fertile, well-drained soil. Night violet loves light, it is better to choose a well-lit area for sowing seeds, but it will also be comfortable in light shade, especially if you live in a hot climate. In such conditions, it will bloom for one and a half to two months.
It is better to dig up the place where there will be growing beds, fertilize with organic matter and mineral fertilizers. Seedlings will appear in three weeks.
The seedlings do not need special care, it is enough to thin them out so that there is forty centimeters between the plants. They are looked after in the same way as an adult plant, watering and weeding is enough. You can transplant the seedlings in late summer or early next summer to another location. She has no preferences for neighbors, although she grows quickly and grows well after planting.
Violet is not demanding, humid or dry air - this does not affect its growth and flowering. In order for Matrona's nocturnal to grow well and delight with her flowering, she does not need special care. It is enough to weed, loosen the soil around the flowers, water and fertilize in a timely manner. Watering the flowers once a week loosen the ground around, it is best to do this in the morning.
Remember that the flower tolerates drought worse than waterlogging. Although, if watering is plentiful, the root will suffer from earthen fleas or rot. The plant is resistant to disease, there is no need for preventive measures.
The flower does not need feeding, but if you doubt the quality of the soil, apply mineral fertilizers twice a month.
Heavy inflorescences sometimes tilt the stems, and the aesthetic appearance becomes less attractive, they are given support. Taking care of the flowers, hurry to cut off the faded inflorescences, then in August the night violet will delight you with new flowers.
You do not need to cover flowers for the winter, but if the winters in your area are cold and snowless, then it is better to play it safe, use a spanboard, this is a reliable shelter for flowers.
Even if the care is organized correctly, the night violet blooms only in the second year.
Landscape designers recommend planting night violets in open areas so that they can be seen from a distance. The flower is placed near the places where the whole family is going to relax in the evening - near gazebos, verandas or benches. At dachas, seedlings of night violets are planted right under the windows. Fragrant flowers are used for bouquets and flower arrangements, they look especially impressive with ferns and ornamental grasses.
Despite the large number of species of hesperis, there is mainly one in the garden culture:
Or night violet, originating from Western Siberia, Asia Minor, the Caucasus and the Mediterranean. It is a perennial grown in a two-year culture. Its stems are erect, up to 80 cm in height, branched in the upper part. Sharp slightly toothed oval-lanceolate leaves can be bare or pubescent with white hair. Simple or double, lilac, white, purple or pink flowers up to 2 cm in diameter form cylindrical brushes. The aroma of flowers intensifies in the evening and at night, as well as in cloudy and humid weather. Most often in the garden you can see the following varieties of night violets:
In the photo: Vespers of the matron (Нesperis matronalis)
Siberian endemic, also gradually gaining popularity. In height, this biennial plant growing in the Sayan, Dauria, Altai, Irtysh, Lena and Yenisei reaches from 35 to 130 cm. In the upper part of its stem, covered with glandular hairs, branches. The lower leaves are petiolate, sharp, toothed, oval-lanceolate and pubescent, while the upper leaves are narrow-lanceolate and sessile. Lilac-pink or white flowers are located on pubescent pedicels.
In the photo: Siberian Vechernitsa (Hesperis sibirica)
It is grown in culture and the species is yellow nocturnal, but mainly as a medicinal plant. We will talk about it in a separate article.