Sweetly scented and oh so colorful! This tropical shrub is a must have for those living in sub-tropical and tropical zones. Grow it in pots in other zones. You won't be sorry.
The color changing blooms of the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Shrub (Brunfelsia pauciflora) are a wonder to see. The three colors on one shrub, coupled with the jasmine-like fragrance, entice even those non gardeners to get a closer look.
The flowers open purple then, over a period of several days they fade to lavender and then, finally, pure white. After this they turn brown and die off.
I became interested in this shrub about five years ago when I saw a photograph of it on Dave's Garden.
A family member shared some seeds with me and I soon had a good size specimen in a pot. It was healthy and I thought I was on my way to having a beautiful shrub in my yard. That was not to be. My lovely seedling died. I did not try again until this year, when I received a rooted plant from my aunt. I kept it in a pot until recently, at which time, I planted it out in the yard. I placed a ring of fence wire around it and planted cypress vines on the fence to give it a bit of shade while it settles in. So far, so good.
Since I had failed at my first attempt with this plant, I decided to do a bit of research on it. I certainly did not want to kill a second one. While researching this plant, I discovered there are more of these plants than I thought.
The Brunfelsias belong to the Solanaceae family of plants, also known as the Nightshade family. There are more than 3000 species in the Solanaceae family. Many coming from the Andean/Amazonian regions of South America. 
Brunfelsia is named for Otto Brunfels, a Carthusian monk who published the first good drawings of plants in 1530.
Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow Brunfelsia pauciflora
Photo courtesy of Dave's Garden member, jnana
These are tropical plants and therefore, do not like the cold. Most are said to only grow in zones 10-11, however, they can be grown as far north as zone 8a. In very cold winters, they will need a bit of covering for those freezing nights. At least, until they are established in your yard. Once established, you will still want to keep a check on them as the freezing temperatures will burn the leaves and possibly kill the plant. A sheet draped over the plant usually works fine here in zone 8b. My aunt has a Brunfelsia pauciflora in her yard that is about six foot tall and she does not do anything special in the winter, other than to mulch the plant well.
Here are a few of the Brunfelsia that you can find listed in Dave's Garden Plant Files 
◊ Brunfelsia australis australis- Meaning: Of or from the south, or Australia Common Names: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Morning, Noon and Night Paraguay Jasmine Eternity Plant Height: 4-6 ft. Bloom Color: Violet/Lavender, Purple, White/Near White
◊ Brunfelsia gigantea gigantea- Meaning: Large, gigantic  Common Names: Lady of the Night Height: 4-6 ft Bloom Color: White/Near White, Cream/Tan
◊ Brunfelsia isola Common Names: Lady of the Night Height:18-24 in. Bloom Color: Blue-Violet, White/Near White
◊ Brunfelsia jamaicensis jamaicensis- Meaning: Of or from the Jamaican Island Common Names: Lady of the Night Height: 24-36 in. Bloom Color: White/Near White
◊ Brunfelsia lactea lactea--Meaning: Milky  Common Names: Princess of the Night Height: 4-6 ft. Bloom Color: White/Near White
◊ Brunfelsia nyctaginoides nyctaginoides- Meaning: Resembles four o'clocks (nyctaginea means night-blooming) Common Names: Unknown Height: 3 ft. Bloom Color: Red-Orange *This is a different looking Brunfelsia than the YT&T. It is interesting and the hummingbirds love it.
◊ Brunfelsia pauciflora pauciflora-Meaning: Few flowers Common Names: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Morning, Noon and Night Brazil Rain Tree Height: 4-6 ft. Bloom Color: Rose/Mauve, Purple, White/Near White
◊ Brunfelsia undulata 'White Caps' undulata- Meaning: Wavy  Common Names: Rain Tree Height: 4-6 ft. Bloom Color: White/Near White
◊ Brunfelsia uniflora uniflora-Meaning: Single flowered  Common Names: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Height: 18-24 in. Bloom Color: Blue-Violet, White/Near White
L-Brunfelsia jamaicensisR-Brunfelsia isola
Photo's courtesy of DG member, Clare_CA
WARNING Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow shrubs contain poisonous alkaloids. The berries are especially toxic.
For a great article covering many plants in the Solanaceae family, check out: The Solanaceae, what a family! By Jean-Jacques Segalen Mr. Segalen's article
About Jacqueline Cross
I'm a native Floridian...feet planted in the shifting sands of northwest FL. but my heart strings are tightly knotted to the hills of Tennessee.
I live with my poodle, Minnie Pearl, Zsa Zsa the cat who runs the whole show and a new addition, Kitty Belle.
I'm a writer, gardener, quilter, cross stitcher, soapmaker and nature lover. Mother to 3 wonderful daughters & Nana to 6 perfect grandchildren.
I also write for Suite101.com and was promoted to Feature Writer in the vegetable gardens section in 2008.