Scientific Name:
Mirabilis jalapa L.
Vernacular Name(s):
four o'clock plant; Four-o'clock; Marvel of Peru

Perennial, with thick, blackish, tuberous roots. Shoots and lvs puberulent when young, later glabrous or nearly so. Stems swollen at nodes, branched. Petioles usually 1–4 cm long. Lamina 3.5–15 × 3–7 cm (largest in lower lvs), ovate or oblong-ovate, entire; undersurface with numerous rod-like cystoliths; base truncate to broadly cordate; apex acute to acuminate. Upper lvs smaller with shorter petioles. Fls in terminal cymes, fragrant. Involucre calyx-like, 9–15 mm long, hairy, strongly lobed, each containing 1 fl. Calyx 4–4.5 × 3.5–4.5 cm across limb, yellow, magenta or streaked or with sectors of either colour in the same fl., salverform, soon withering; tube c. 3 cm long. Stamens and style exserted. Anthocarp c. 8 mm long, ovoid to ellipsoid, hairy, black or almost so.

[From: Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]


Flowering: Nov.–Apr.