"flowers that shrank in the dusk and came forth again at the moon's rising"

McCarthy is describing a group of night-blooming plants commonly known as moonflowers. The petals of the flower open in the evening so they can be pollinated by night-flying moths. Like most moth-pollinated flowers, the moonflower has white petals, which attract the insects.


Moonflower (Ipomoea alba)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMoonflower (Ipomoea alba) - Credit: Hans Stieglitz