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