from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several night-blooming vines related to the morning glories.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several unrelated vines which bloom at night

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The oxeye daisy; -- called also moon daisy.
  • n. A kind of morning glory (Ipomœa Bona-nox) with large white flowers opening at night.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The oxeye daisy, Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum.
  • n. A tropical night-blooming species of Ipomæa, with large fragrant white flowers, or

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. pantropical climber having white fragrant nocturnal flowers


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • Against this wall, there was a trellis of moonflowers, which popped open like small white parachutes at twilight in the summertime, and between the trellis and the stoop you could pull up water from a cistern in the veritable oaken bucket of the song.

    —James Thurber, 1952, 'Daguerreotype of a Lady', in The Thurber Album

    I had met this before, from a US friend, but from her description assumed they were the same as my hedge bindweed and the name came merely from the appearance. However, learning they are nocturnal, I find that moonflowers are genus Ipomoea (same as morning glory and, surprisingly, sweet potato), whilst bindweed are Calystegia, both in the family Convolvulaceae.

    July 10, 2008