I had kept these plants of the Yuca Filamentosa six or seven years, though they had never bloomed. I knew nothing of them, and had no notion of what feelings they would excite. Last June I found in bud the one which had the most favorable exposure. A week or two after, another, which was more in the shade, put out flower-buds, and I thought I should be able to watch them, one after the other; but, no! the one which was most favored waited for the other, and both flowered together at the full of the moon. This struck me as very singular, but as soon as I saw the flower by moonlight I understood it. This flower is made for the moon, as the Heliotrope is for the sun, and refuses other influences or to display her beauty in any other light. The first night I saw it in flower, I was conscious of a peculiar delight, I may even say rapture. Many white flowers are far more beautiful by day; the lily, for instance, with its firm, thick leaf, needs the broadest light to manifest its purity. But these transparent leaves of greenish white, which look dull in the day, are melted by the moon to glistening silver. And not only does the plant not appear in its destined hue by day, but the flower, though, as bellshaped, it cannot quite close again after having once expanded, yet presses its petals together as closely as it can, hangs down its little blossoms, and its tall stalk seems at noon to have reared itself only to betray a shabby insignificance. Thus, too, with the leaves, which have burst asunder suddenly like the fan-palm to make way for the stalk,—their edges in the day time look ragged and unfinished, as if nature had left them in a hurry for some more
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