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Mirabilis species [Nyctaginaceae]

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Scientific Name Mirabilis jalapa USDA PLANTS Symbol MIJA
Common Name Marvel of Peru, Common Four O'clock ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 19648
Family Nyctaginaceae (Four O'clock) SEINet
Reference
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Description Habitat: Various soils on plains, pastures and disturbed areas; widely cultivated as an ornamental.
Plant: Much-branched, bushy, perennial 16 to 40 inches tall with erect to ascending stems; deep green, smooth foliage, somewhat sticky.
Leaves: Opposite, ovate to ovate deltoid with pointed tips and blunt or indented bases and smooth margins; 1-1/2 to 5-1/2 inches long and 3/4 to 3+ inches wide; slender petioles about half as long as the blades, uppermost blades nearly sessile.
Inflorescence: Several compact clusters with one to fifteen flowers on short stalks, and each cluster subtended by a pair of leaf-like bracts; rose-pink or yellow (sometimes white or striped) funnel-shaped flowers usually hairless, 1-1/4 to 2 inches long with 5 flared, notched flared lobes; 5 long stamens extending beyond the tube; pistil with one, long, threadlike style extending beyond the stamens and a rounded stigma.
Bloom Period: Spring to fall until frost; fragrant flowers usually open from late afternoon or at dusk, or earler on cloudy days.
References: "Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas" by Correll and Johnston, and SEINet.
BONAP Distribution Map

Texas Status:
Introduced
Scientific Name Mirabilis nyctaginea USDA PLANTS Symbol MINY
Common Name Heart-leaf Four O'clock ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 19655
Family Nyctaginaceae (Four O'clock) SEINet
Reference
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Description Habitat: Dry, sandy, calcarous soils on hillsides, pastures, disturbed areas.
Plant: Erect perennial 1 to 3 feet tall; usually solitary stems with forked branches, ridged, often purplish.
Leaves: Opposite, upward-pointing, ovate-lanceolate to cordate, 2 to 4-3/4 inches long and from less than 1 to 2-1/2 inches wide with pointed tips; lower leaves on petioles up to 3/4-inch long; surfaces smooth or nearly so.
Inflorescence: Forked terminal cluster of groups of pink bell-shaped blossoms, usually 3 blossoms per involucre on a hairy peduncle; flower about 1/2-inch across with 5 notched lobes and 3 to 5 protruding stamens with pink filaments and yellow anthers.
Bloom Period: April to November.
References: "Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas" by Correll and Johnston, "Wildflowers of Texas" by Geyata Ajilvsgi and SEINet.
BONAP Distribution Map

Texas Status:
Native
Scientific Name Mirabilis texensis (Mirabilis rotata) USDA PLANTS Symbol MITE13
Common Name Texas Four O'clock ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 507909
Family Nyctaginaceae (Four O'clock) Flora of North America Ref. Click Here
Description Habitat: Desert environment, sunny, gravelly limestone slopes; 2000 to 3000 ft.
Plant: Upright/ascending perennial 12 to 40 inches tall, slender, sparsely branched, somewhat hairy stems.
Leaves: Along lower portion of plant and/or clustered at base, blades ovate to oblong, 3/4 to 2-3/4 inches long and wide; petioles 1/8 to 1-1/2 inches long; pointed to rounded tips and smooth to glandular surfaces.
Inflorescence: Pink to purple bell-shaped blossoms, less than 1/2-inch across at branch tips and leaf axils; five notched lobes; protruding stamens.
Bloom Period: Summer and early fall.
References: Flora of North America and M. rotata in "Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas" by Correll and Johnston.
BONAP Distribution Map

Texas Status:
Native

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© Tom Lebsack 2021