Family: Nyctaginaceae - Four O'Clock Family
Long-lived perennial herbs, often with stems swollen at the nodes; 7.9” to 3.3' (2 to 10 dm) tall
Leaves: opposite; simple; entire to toothed; 0.8” to 4” (2 to 10 cm) long, 0.04” to 0.52” (1 to 13 mm) wide
Flowers: 0 petals; 5 white to pink or red-purple united petaloid sepals, 0.32” to 0.48” (8 to 12 mm) long; sepaloid bracts (bracts mimic the sepals), 3 to 6 stamens; 1 pistil
Pollinators: other Mirabilis species are pollinated by insects
Fruits: achene; indehiscent (not splitting open at maturity)
Blooms in Arches National Park: May, June, July, August, September, October, November
Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub, hanging garden and pinyon-juniper communities
Location seen: park road mile 0 to 2.5
Other: The genus name, “Mirabilis”, means “marvelous or wonderful” and is a reference to the beauty of this plant. The species name, “linearis”, means “linear” and refers to the narrow leaves.
Flowers bloom late in the day giving the family its common name – four o'clock. The family is mostly native to the tropics.