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Mirabilis jalapa

Four o'clock flower

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Key information

Plant type

Tender perennial

Flower colour

Mixed

Feature

Flowers

Hardiness

Tender

Skill level

Beginner

photo by Martin Hughes-Jones, copyright GAP Photos (155983)

Plant details

This once fashionable South American species is sometimes known as the four o'clock flower because its red, yellow, white and lilac blooms only open in late afternoon and will then spread their perfume over a large area in the still evening air. This is not a hardy plant, and should be planted like dahlias after the last spring frosts. It likes very fertile soil, in which it will form a large handsome bush that flowers prolifically until mid-autumn, when the tubers can be lifted and dried for storing. Plants are usually raised from seed in a blend of bright colours.

Family: Nyctaginaceae

Genus: Mirabilis

Species: jalapa

Plant type: Tender perennial

Flower colour: Mixed

Foliage colour: Dark green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline, Sandy

Hardiness: Tender

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 60cm

Spread: 60cm

Time to plant seeds: March to May


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