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Weed Identification

wild four-o'clock



Scientific Name

Mirabilis nyctaginea

Other Common Names:

heartleaf four o'clock

Synonyms (former Scientific Names):

Mirabilis collina
Oxybaphus nyctagineus
Allionia nyctaginea


Roots: Very thick and tuber-like in some places. Stems: Plants usually range from 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 feet in height. Stems are erect and branching. Leaves: Leaves are triangular to triangular-lanceolate in outline, from 1 1/2 to 3 inches long and 1 to 2 inches wide. Leaves occur on petioles that are approximately 3/4 inch or less in length. Leaves have a deep green color and have prominent white midveins.

Identifying Characteristics

Erect perennials with tuberous thickened roots that may reach 4 1/2 feet in height. Plants with thick rootstocks and triangular leaves that are dark green in color with prominent white midveins.

Flower Seed Head

Flowers are pink to lavender in color and occur on flower stalks (peduncles) that range from 3 to 10 mm in length.

Seed Fruit

A gray or brown achene that is 4 to 5 mm long and elliptical.

Where Found

Wild four-o' clock is primarily a weed of pastures, hay fields, roadsides, and abandoned locations that is found in North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Life Cycle


Plant Type