FOUR O’CLOCK

FAMILY: Nyctaginaceae | GENUS: MIRABILIS

TYPE
  • Annuals
  • Perennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
WATER
  • Drought Tolerant
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 10
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 11
SPECIAL FEATURES
  • Poisonous/Toxic

Plant Details

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

mirabilis jalapa

  • 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

mirabilis longiflora

  • 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

mirabilis multiflora

  • 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.

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