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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - August 25, 2007

From: Palm Bay, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identifcation of four o clock-like flower
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I've run across a flower I cannot find any information on. I saw it in West Virginia. I know that a pix might be needed to identify, but, since this is somewhat unusual, I thought possibly you might know without one. This appears to be a fast growing, 2-3 foot high shrub like plant. It has small, trumpet shaped pink flowers that only open late afternoon. A couple of folks thought it was Four O'Clocks, but, I've examined online photos and it is not. The flower is smaller, sleeker than those of the four o'clock. I've been told it blooms throughout spring/summer. The seeds are about the size of a pea, are black and are individually sheathed. Any thoughts? Thank you for your consideration.


Mr. Smarty Plants has looked but, if it's not Mirabilis nyctaginea (heartleaf four o'clock), these are the only plants that come remotely close to your description:

Dicliptera brachiata (branched foldwing)

Spigelia marilandica (woodland pinkroot)

Kalmia angustifolia (sheep laurel)

Rhexia virginica (handsome Harry) (and another set of pictures from the USDA Plants Database)

If you could send us a photo of the plant including the whole plant, a close up of leaves, flowers and fruits (if they are still visible), we will be very happy to try and identify it.

You can read instructions for submitting photos on the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page under "Plant Identification" in the lower right corner.

Mirabilis nyctaginea

Dicliptera brachiata

Spigelia marilandica

Kalmia angustifolia

Rhexia virginica





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