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Mirabilis nyctaginea (Michx.) MacMill.
Heartleaf four o'clock
Synonym(s): Allionia nyctaginea, Mirabilis collina, Oxybaphus nyctagineus
USDA Symbol: miny
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Mirabilis, in Latin, and Maravilla, in Spanish, both mean marvelous, which the flowers certainly are. They open in the shade of the late afternoon. This lovely native species is a close relative of Common Four-oclock (M. jalapa), a plant originally from Mexico, popular in gardens since the Aztecs, and now commonly escaping into the wild; it has purple, yellow, or sometimes white or variegated flowers generally not longer than 2 1/2 (6.5 cm).
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Retention: Deciduous Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
, WY Canada: ON
, SK Native Habitat:
Weedy places, in dry soils, limestone gravels, sandy Post Oak Belt and west Cross Timbers; MT
south to TN, CO, AL, TX,
and Mexico; also introduced in CA
and east US.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Conditions Comments: Flowers open late in the afternoon and drop off early the next morning. The flowers are pollinated at night by insects. The bracts become rose colored with age and are frequently mistaken as flowers. Easy to grow from seed and freely self sows. Plant in well drained soil. Drought tolerant but can also accept summer water.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2012-12-09
Research By: DEW, JSC, MAC