A perennial from tropical America but, being
unable to withstand winter frosts, is best treated
as a half-hardy annual.
The species develops into a shapely plant up to
three feet, with five-lobed tubular flowers, one
to two inches long, red, yellow, white and often
striped and mottled.
Its habit of opening in the afternoon has gained
for it a further popular name of Four-o’-Clock.
Rather more dwarf but resembling Mirabilis jalapa is
Mirabilis multiflora, bearing clusters of rose or purple
flowers, two inches long.
Mirabilis longiflora reaches three feet with white, rose
or violet flowers, four to six inches long.
Mirabilis dichotoma, two and a half feet high, has flowers
of white heavily suffused with pink and effectively
contrasting purple stamens.
Seed should be sown and planted out when all risk
of frost has passed. A position in full sun and
a well-drained soil are essential.
Propagation is from seed.
The flowering period is from midsummer until frost.