Nyctaginaceae Mirabilis linearis

Mirabilis linearis

Mirabilis linearis

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.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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