Four O’clock will delight both your eyes and your nose, with fragrant tubular flowers that come in a variety of patterns and colors. Often, you even get different colored flowers on the same plant.
These conspicuous flowers open around 4 p.m. late in the afternoon (hence the name) and close the next morning. The four o’clock flower, Mirabilis jalapa, was initially found in South America’s Andes Mountains.
Common names are Marvel of Peru, False Jalap, Coat of Many Colors, and Beauty-of-the-Night. There are about 45 species in the genus Mirabilis.
Four O’clock is a long-lived herbaceous (perennial) plant that can reach 2 meters tall with a bulbous root. Its leaves have an egg-shaped outline with a wide end at the base (oval), triangular or oblong, and grow up to 9 cm long.
The tip of the leaf is pointed, and the base is heart-shaped. The petiole (leaf stalk) is 4 cm long. The flowers of Four O’clock are found in clusters of 3-7; flower stalks are more or less absent; the flowers are tubular, red, pink, or white, up to 6.5 cm long and 3.5 cm wide with 5 to 6 stamens.