Brunfelsia pauciflora

Plant of the month: April

Brunfelsia Pauciflora - Yesterday, today and tomorrow

Also Known As: Yesterday, today and tomorrow

Native To: Brazil

Blooms: Fragrant flowers, opening purple then fading to lilac and eventually turning white during late winter and spring

Habitat: Subtropical light woodlands and thickets

Where Found At BBG: Subtropical House


This ornamental shrub has very fragrant flowers which change colour from purple to lilac and then eventually to white – hence its common name ‘yesterday, today and tomorrow’.

Surprisingly, Brunfelsia belongs to the same family as the potato and tomato – Solanaceae! It is not hardy in the UK, so must it be grown in a warm glasshouse or conservatory where the powerful fragrance can be fully appreciated.

It can reach a height and spread of around 3 metres but can be pruned to the desired height straight after flowering.

It prefers partial shade as a position in the sun can damage the delicate flowers. It also likes an acidic (ericaceous) compost, helping to reduce leaf chlorosis (yellowing of the leaves due to inefficient nutrient uptake).