Scientific Name: Mirabilis nyctaginea

Common Name: wild four-o'clock

Other Common Names: heartleaf four o'clock

Synonyms: Allionia nyctaginea; Mirabilis collina; Oxybaphus nyctagineus

Leaves: 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: perennial

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Plant family: Nyctaginaceae