species, hybrids and cultivars
Common Name: Yesterday Today and Tomorrow
Synonyms: Franciscea species
The form of this shrub easily spotted in Brisbane gardens has distinctive purple flowers which fade over successive days, hence the common name "Yesterday Today and Tomorrow". The effect is of a bush which has several colours of flowers on the plant at the same time.
Fragrance is another bonus of this plant, which produces its main show of flowers in spring. a few flowers may ale be produced at other times. A disadvantage is a tendancy to sucker from the roots, so keep an eye on mixed shrubberies or brunfelsia hedges bordering flower beds and remove unwanted shoots promptly.
There's a confusing plethora of species and cultivar names seen in various literature referring to Brunfelsias with purple flowers. The most common type in Brisbane is probably B. latifolia (=B. bonodora? =B. australis?). Another type with fewer but larger flowers may also be encountered as B. pauciflora (=B. calycina var. eximia?) Hopefully, this confusing picture can be made a little clearer on this webpage in the future.
This genus was previously known as Franciscea.
B. americana is a less common species with flowers which also change colour, but in the cream - yellow range. It's common name "Lady of the Night" comes from the fact that it's most fragrant at night.
Brunfelsia lactea and Brunsfelsia undulata may also be found in the marketplace occasionally.
In general, Brunfelsia are easy to grow and an ideal compliment to a cottage garden or traditional style flower garden in the tropics. More information about Brunfelsia coming to this page in the future.
Brunfelsia has previously featured in Get Results Gardening, which gave more information about this pretty, fragrant genus. Get Results Gardening is an email mini-magazine, for Australian homeowners and other gardeners, with an emphasis on the subtropics and South East Queensland. If you request a free trial (see calyx.com.au/getresultsgardening.html for instructions) you can ask for a copy of the 01-12-2023 edition to be sent as well if you want to read the Brunfelsia article (Australian residents only, please).
Brunfelsia in the Landscape
Click for larger images.
Foliage of B. latifolia (left) compared with B. americana (right)
New Brunfelsia species a history maker
The requirement by the scientific community that new plant species be formally described in Latin has recently been dropped, with English descriptions now acceptable. This has paved the way for inclusion of DNA analysis to help distinguish the new species from close relatives. Brunfelsia plowmaniana, is the "first English-language diagnosis of a new species that relies exclusively on DNA data". DNA barcodes are likely to become more common in describing and identifying plants. Source: Plant DNA speaks English, identifies new species (March 2012)
Possible misspellings: Brunsfelsia, brunsfelsa