Mirabilis species

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Scientific Name Mirabilis albida (Mirabilis hirsuta) USDA PLANTS Symbol MIAL4
Common Name White Four O'clock, Hairy Four O'clock ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 19626
Family Nyctaginaceae (Four O'clock) SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Plains to foothills (3900 to 8200 ft.); dry, sandy or rocky soils in meadows and hillsides.
Plant: Perennial with erect or decumbent, branching stems 30 to 48 inches tall; herbage often hairy, especially the upper portions.
Leaves: Lanceolate-oblong to ovate, opposite leaves, 3/8 to 4 inches long and 1/4 to 2-1/2 inches wide; sessile or on petioles up to 1-5/8 inches long; surfaces green to blue-gray, and smooth to hairy.
Inflorescence: White to pink or purple clusters of 2 or 3 flowers on hairy peduncles up to an inch long in terminal, few-branched panicles, or solitary in leaf axils; each cluster enclosed by a bell-shaped involucre up to 1/4-inch long in flower and twices as long in fruit; involucre bracts are hairy, and pale green or blushed with purple; flowers blooms early in the day, dropping their petals soon after.
Bloom Period: June to September.
Fruit: Hairy, brown to dark brown obovoid to narrowly obovate seed capsules less than 1/4-inch long.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield and SEINet.
Note: Images here were taken at mid-day after all of the petals had dropped, so you see the greenish-white, spreading involucre bracts and the dark brown seed capsules.
BONAP Distribution Map

Colorado Status:
Native
Scientific Name Mirabilis linearis USDA PLANTS Symbol MILI3
Common Name Narrow-leaf Four O'clock ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 19651
Family Nyctaginaceae (Four O'clock) SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Plains to montane (3900 to 9500 ft.); gravelly areas, roadsides, trails, open areas.
Plant: Spreading perennial 8 to 40 inches tall, grey-green foliage; stems often waxy.
Leaves: Linear to linear-lanceolate, opposite leaves 1 to 4 inches long.
Inflorescence: Many small white to pink-purple blossoms about 1/2 inch across in clusters of three (often only one blooming at a time) with sticky-hairy involucre below; 5 split fused lobes in bell-shaped corolla, 5 projecting pink stamens and yellow anthers.
Bloom Period: June to September.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield, SEINet and www.americansouthwest.net.
BONAP Distribution Map

Colorado Status:
Native
Scientific Name Mirabilis oxybaphoides USDA PLANTS Symbol MIOX
Common Name Spreading Four O'clock ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 19657
Family Nyctaginaceae (Four O'clock) SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Semi-desert to foothills (4500 to 8800 ft.); rocky soils in shady areas and forests, often tangled with other foliage.
Plant: Spreading perennial 3 to 5 feet across and up to several feet tall, light green stems covered with fine hairs.
Leaves: Broadly deltate or ovate, opposite fleshy leaves 1 to 4 inches long, covered with fine hairs, on petioles up to 1/4 to 1-3/8-inches long.
Inflorescence: Clusters of 3 pink to purple blossoms about 1/2 inch across at branch tips, 3 flowers surrounded by a cup-shaped involucre; 5 fused lobes in bell-shaped corolla, 5 prortuding pink stamens and yellow anthers.
Bloom Period: August to October.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield, SEINet and www.americansouthwest.net.
BONAP Distribution Map

Colorado Status:
Native

© Tom Lebsack 2021