Mirabilis Multiflora, Desert Four O'Clock

Plants > Wildflowers > Nyctaginaceae > Mirabilis Multiflora

Mirabilis multiflora forms low clumps, sometimes covering the ground for several square feet. Both leaves and flowers are large, the latter 1 to 2 inches in diameter, and consisting of five sepals fused to create a pretty pink corolla, held by a cup-shaped green bract with five triangular lobes. At the center are five pink stamens, projecting a little way above the flower, tipped with bright yellow anthers.

The number of flowers is quite dependent on the amount of recent rainfall, but many dozen blooms appear under the right circumstances. They grow at the end of the leaf stalks, usually in clusters of six.

Common name: Desert four o'clock, maravilla, Colorado four o'clock
Family: Four-o-clock (Nyctaginaceae)
Scientific name: Mirabilis multiflora
Main flower color: Pink
Range: California, east to Colorado, New Mexico and (west) Texas
Height: 1 to 2 feet
Habitat: Deserts, grassland, pinyon-juniper woodland; often dry, sandy areas, with full or partial sun
Leaves: Large; up 4 inches long, ovate with pointed tips, on short stalks, with a few prominent veins. Opposite arrangement
Season: April to September
Three flowers
Leaves and stems
Five-petaled pink flowers
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