Dusk bloom clock


The Evening Primrose is a dusk clock. This four-minute movie shows how it blooms at the close of day, like a bell intoning as the Sun slides toward the horizon. The video’s speed hasn’t been altered.

If you watch carefully, you’ll see how the bloom’s bursts of movement seem to beat the time twice.

This flower will only last a night. Tomorrow its soft new petals will be burned by the Sun to a deepening orange-pink. Throughout the day its gradual colour shift lets us tell time. Then the next new flower that the plant produces will trumpet that definite moment once again: the edge of day tipping into night.

I made this video as part of (my fictional) Stereochron Island campaign to promote alternatives to the mechanical clock. It’s companion timepiece is the Sheep eye clock, which shows the hour leading up to dusk.

The Evening Primrose is one of many flowers that bloom, open or close at a particular time of day or night. As part of Stereochron’s field studies, I made this flower clock, below, drawing on Linnaeus’s famous 18th-century plan for a Horologium Florae. (The symbol < means it opens at this hour, and > closes.)


Video title: Dusk bloom clock

Date: 2014

Image title: Horologium Florae

Date: 2013