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Marvel-of-Peru Mirabilis jalapa

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
mih-RAB-ih-liss jah-LAHP-ah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Four-o’clock is a deciduous, semi-woody perennial in the four-o’clock family (Nyctaginaceae). It is native from Mexico to Central America and can be grown as an annual in western North Carolina but as a perennial in most Piedmont or coastal gardens. The genus name comes from the Latin word meaning wonderful. The specific epithet refers to Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.

Four-o’clock can be grown in most soils and partial shade but prefers full sun and moist to occasionally wet, well-drained humus-rich soil. The plants grow 18 inches to 4 feet tall and 12 to 24 inches wide. Propagate by division or seed. To speed germination, soak the seeds in water overnight. Old plants produce large, potato-like tuberous roots that can be dug before the first freeze in the fall to store indoors and plant again in spring after the last frost. In Zone 8 or 9, the tuberous roots can be left in the ground and will regrow in spring.

This plant’s fragrant flowers open in the afternoon or early evening and are pollinated by hummingbirds and moths, making it a perfect addition to a nighttime or pollinator garden. Place it near a patio or pool where you can smell its fragrance.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems: No significant problems. The plants can self-seed vigorously and become weedy. 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Marvel of Peru
Marvel of Peru
Tags:
#hummingbird friendly#poisonous#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#red flowers#yellow flowers#tuberous#fall interest#bicolor#summer flowers#nighttime garden#striped leaves#night-flowering#spring interest#partial shade tolerant#stormwater demo garden orange co#annual#weed#moth friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Marvel of Peru
Marvel of Peru
Tags:
#hummingbird friendly#poisonous#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#red flowers#yellow flowers#tuberous#fall interest#bicolor#summer flowers#nighttime garden#striped leaves#night-flowering#spring interest#partial shade tolerant#stormwater demo garden orange co#annual#weed#moth friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Mirabilis
    Species:
    jalapa
    Family:
    Nyctaginaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico to Central America
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers are visited by hummingbirds and moths
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Moderate drought tolerance.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 6 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Poisonous
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    fruit leathery, 5-ribbed
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Variegated
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Trumpet
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    fused petals
    Flower Description:
    flowers opening late in the afternoon or in very cloudy weather, white to red, yellow or striped, tubular and trumpet-like, 5-lobed
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Hairs Present:
    No
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Pool/Hardscape
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Hummingbirds
    Moths
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; handling of the roots may cause dermatitis
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unknown
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Roots
    Seeds