Nyctaginaceae Mirabilis multiflora

Mirabilis multiflora

Mirabilis multiflora

Family: Nyctaginaceae - Four O'Clock Family

Perennial herbs; often with stems swollen at the nodes; 11.8” to 2.6' (3 to 8 dm) tall

Leaves: opposite; simple; 0.8” to 4” (2 to 10 cm) long

Flowers: 0 petals; 5 united lobed funnelform pink-purple (magenta) petaloid sepals, 1.6” to 2.4” (4 to 6 cm) long; sepaloid bracts (bracts mimic the sepals); 1 to many stamens, 1 pistil; 3 to 6 stamens

Pollinators: insects (specifically hawkmoths)

Fruits: achene; indehiscent (not splitting open at maturity)

Blooms in Arches National Park: May, June

Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities

Location seen: Windows main trail just before North Window, outside Arches National Park on Hwy. 128 near Fisher Towers

Other: The genus name, “Mirabilis”, means “marvelous, wonderful” and is a reference to the beauty of this plant while the species name, “multiflora”, means “many flowers” and refers to the quantity of flowers.

The 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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