Meaning And Symbolism Of The Moonflower

Also referred to as the moon vine, the moonflower is a plant whose flowers bloom only at night, hence its name. They often have white blossoms, but some varieties have purple ones instead, but all of them are powerfully fragrant and give off a romantic vice.

During the day, the flowers of the moon vine are closed off like tiny buds that are only one or two inches wide.

However, after the sun sets, they slowly open wide as if to welcome the moon and can expand up to seven inches wide. This is why the plant has often been associated with the moon.

Symbolism Of The Moonflower

What Does The Moonflower Symbolize?

The moonflower’s appearance, fragrance, and behavior make it appear mystical and romantic, leading to deep symbolism attached to its presence. Here are ten of the most popular meanings of the moonflower:

1. Divine Existence

Several cultures revere the moonflower due to its association with gods and mystical beings.

The presence of this plant serves as a reminder that there are mystical experiences in the world that cannot be explained by logic alone.

For example, the ancient Greeks believed that the flowers on the plant represented the tears of the moon goddess Selene. Aside from this, the moonflower is also thought to be associated with Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft and magic.

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2. Feminine Energy

The moon is widely accepted as a symbol of femininity and is attributed with female qualities such as intuition and emotion.

Even the phases of the moon have been associated with the female reproductive cycle.

With the moonflower’s deep connection with the moon, the plant has also become linked to feminine energy. As such, it is often used in lunar rituals to help attract the power and energy of the moon.

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3. Healing And Recovery

In some countries, such as Cameroon and Thailand, the moonflower is recognized for its medicinal properties.

Several parts of the plants can be used to treat snakebites, boils, hemorrhoids, and wounds. It can work as a laxative, antipyretic, and anti-diabetic, as well as helping to increase breast milk production.

Spiritually, this plant can help heal wounds of betrayal, rejection, and abandonment. Let it surround you and help you achieve deeper emotional wellness by tapping at the wisdom and energy of the moon. 

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4. Duality And Contradiction

While the moonflower can help heal physical and emotional illnesses, it can also have a toxic effect.

The contrasting effects of the moonflower make it a symbol of duality and contradiction, as it can heal and cause harm at the same time. Because of this, the plant and its extracts must not be ingested randomly.

It must be taken with caution, subject to the approval and monitoring of a medical professional. Improper use of this plant can result in heart problems, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some people also experience psychological effects like agitation, confusion, anxiety, or hallucinations.

5. Spiritual Guidance

With bright flowers that only bloom at night, the moonflower is often seen as a symbol of guidance.

It helps illuminate the dark paths at night and accompanies spirits in their journey. With this, some cultures believe that the plant can help them commune with otherworldly beings like ghosts and spirits.

In some countries, the moonflower would be planted around gravesites so they could help guide the souls of the departed on their way to the afterlife. The Japanese would also use the moonflower in ceremonies to honor the dead.

6. Dreams And Fantasies

Its oneness with the night also makes the moonflower a symbol of sleep and dreams.

The plant’s deep connection with the moon gives it psychic abilities as well. As such, it is often the flower of choice for people who are fascinated by the unknown or those who want to explore the mystic realm.

Some cultures believe that the plant carries the powers of the moon goddess and is thus associated with mystery and magic. Others claim that placing a moonflower under your pillow will allow you to receive visions or prophecies through your dreams.

7. Growth And Determination

As the petals of the moonflower remind you of the moon, its climbing vines stand for growth and change.

This is primarily because of its remarkable ability to survive in different kinds of environments and even in unlikely places, like abandoned lots or cracks in the sidewalk.

The plant also makes use of night creatures like moths and baths to aid in pollination, enabling it to reach new territories and establish its presence there.

This shows its resilience and determination to keep on surviving, despite unfavorable conditions. As such, the moonflower can serve as your inspiration when you are going through challenges in life.  

8. Fertility And Reproduction

Each moonflower plant is able to produce hundreds of seeds each year.

These seeds fall to the ground and self-propagate, getting themselves ready for growth in the next season. This means that the plant can grow by itself without the need for special nurturing or human intervention.

Because of these abilities, the moonflower has been associated with fertility and reproduction. In some cultures, such as in China, the plant is given to new mothers as a sign of goodwill.

9. Protection And Shelter

Its association with the moon goddess also makes the moonflower a symbol of protection.

The blossoming of the flowers at night represents the watchful eye of the goddess, who is believed to protect those sleeping under her radiance.

The large petals of the flower also curve around the center as if to protect it from outside elements that may cause it harm. Aside from this, the delicate fragrance of the flowers also have the ability to ward off evil spirits, thus protecting night travelers from harm while on their journey.

10. Blooming In Adversity

While most flowers look best under the shining rays of the sun, the moonflower reaches its peak beauty at night.

This is a reminder that it is possible for you to bloom and achieve your full potential even in the middle of difficulties.

The moonflower shows you that there is beauty in darkness as it shows off its pretty petals and spreads its fragrance at night.

If you find yourself faced with challenges that prohibit you from growing or moving forward, let the blossoms of the moonflower show you that there is opportunity even in adversity.


The moonflower is known for its unique behavior of closing up its petals during the day and opening them up at night.

This behavior has associated it with the moon along with Selene, the goddess of the moon, and Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft and magic.

Because of this, the plant has been attributed with meanings related to protection, divine presence, and spiritual guidance. Moonflower is also both a healing and a toxic plant, which gives it a symbolism of duality and contradiction.

Meanwhile, its ability to produce hundreds of seeds and to grow even in unexpected places enables it to represent fertility, growth, and determination.