Mirabilis longiflora L.
Sweet Four O'Clock, Long-flowered Four O'Clock
Nyctaginaceae (Four O'clock Family)
USDA Symbol: MILO2
This plant grows up to 3 1/2 feet tall. The stem is heavy, brittle, and sticky, with several branches near the base. The leaves are opposite. The lower leaves have stems 1 1/2 inches long; the leaves themselves are 3-4 inches long. The upper leaves have no stem and taper to a sharp point. The branches and the flowers grow out of the leaf axils. The flower stem has many buds, but usually only 2 flowers bloom at the same time on 1 stem. The slender tube of the flower is 4-6 inches long, pinkish with a red throat, spreading into a white blossom 1/2-3/4 inch across at the opening, with 6 stamens extending almost an inch beyond. The flowers bloom near the top of the plant.
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).
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Pink
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Flowers pinkish with a red throat.
DistributionUSA: AZ , NM , TX
Native Distribution: Southern Arizona east to western Texas and south to Mexico.
Native Habitat: Brushy canyons and banks.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Tohono Chul Park, Inc. - Tucson, AZ
BibliographyBibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Mirabilis longiflora in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Mirabilis longiflora in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Mirabilis longiflora
MetadataRecord Modified: 2010-10-20
Research By: TWC Staff