Mirabilis jalapa

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 Mirabilis jalapa subsp. var.  Four o'clock, Marvel of Peru
Mirabilis jalapa11.jpg
Habit: herbaceous
Height: to
Width: to
Height: 3 ft to 4 ft
Width: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.
Lifespan: perennial
Origin: S America
Poisonous: all parts
Bloom: mid summer, late summer, early fall, mid fall, late fall
Exposure: sun
Water: moderate
Features: flowers, naturalizes, hummingbirds
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: 8 to 11
Sunset Zones: perennial in 4-9, 12-32, annual elsewhere
Flower features: red, orange, yellow, multicolored, pink, white
Nyctaginaceae > Mirabilis jalapa var. ,

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Mirabilis jalapa, Linn. Four-o'clock. Marvel Of Peru. Fig. 2377. Erect-bushy quick-growing herb, germinating readily from the large conical-oblong frs., 2-3 ft. high, bearing profusely in late summer and fall long- tubed funnelform fls. in white and shades of red and yellow, and striped, opening in cloudy weather or late in the afternoon (whence the common name four- o'clock), and closing in the morning: lvs. ovate-lanceolate, short-petioled, acuminate, entire: fls. in clusters amongst the lvs.; stamens not exserted. Trop. Amer. B.M. 371. G. 2:499.—Cult.from early times, and always a favorite. In the tropics it has tuberous roots, and these were once supposed to be the source of jalap, whence the name Jalapa. There are dwarf and compact varieties; also forms with variegated foliage. The four o'clock is an "old-fashioned" fl. It is treated as a tender annual, thriving in any garden soil. It is a useful plant for growing in a hedge (plants 1 ft. apart) at the rear of the fl.-garden. Sometimes it comes up in the spring from self-sown seeds. Even as far north as New York, it often produces tuberous roots large enough to be lifted and stored like dahlias.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.

Mirabilis jalapa (The four o'clock flower or marvel of Peru) is the most commonly grown ornamental species of Mirabilis, and is available in a range of colours. Mirabilis in Latin means wonderful and Jalapa is a town in Mexico. Mirabilis jalapa is said to have been exported from the Peruvian Andes in 1540.

A curious aspect of this plant is that flowers of different colours can be found simultaneously on the same plant. Additionally, an individual flower can be splashed with different colours. Another interesting point is a colour-changing phenomenon. For example, in the yellow variety, as the plant matures, it can display flowers that gradually change to a dark pink color. Similarly white flowers can change to light violet.

The flowers usually open from late afternoon onwards, hence the first of its common names.




Plant produces prolific amounts of seed, which can easily be kept and sown.

Pests and diseases



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