Fragrant, trumpet-shaped summer flowers open in late afternoon, hence the common name four o'clock. Frosts kill these bushy plants to the ground, but in mild-winter areas they'll resprout from large, tuberous roots the following spring. Sow seeds in fall or spring; plants also self-sow freely. Treat as annuals in the Upper South.
four o'clock, marvel of peru
- From Peru.
- Erect, many-branched shrub forms a mounding clump 34 feet high and wide.
- Deep green, oval, 2- to 6 inches-long leaves; sweet-scented, 1- to 2 inches flowers in white, red, yellow, magenta, and many intermediate shades.
- The hard black seeds are often exchanged by gardeners seeking particular flower colors.
- Broken Colors bears streaked and freckled blossoms of raspberry-red, orange, lemon-yellow, and white, all on a single plant.
- Limelight has bright green foliage topped with magenta flowers.
- Salmon Sunset is soft orange with a pink star, and the Marbles series features color variegation in the blooms.
- Baywatch is a giant, reaching 69 feet tall, with large blooms in palest yellow.
- Regular water.
sweet four o'clock
- Native to western Texas, Arizona, and Mexico.
- Grows 3 feet tall and wide.
- Medium green, oval, pointed leaves are about 2 inches long.
- Blossoms are very slender, 4- to 6 inches-long tubes that flare open at the end; they are white flushed with rose or violet and have prominent magenta stamens.
- The fragrance is particularly sweet, excellent for the night garden.
desert four o'clock
- Native to the southwestern U.S. Forms a bushy mound 13 feet high and 35 feet wide.
- Gray-green, roundish to heart-shaped leaves to 3 inches long.
- Rose-pink or magenta, 2 inches-long flowers have a musky, sweet scent.