Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Mirabilis laevis, Desert Wishbone-bush

Mirabilis laevis, Desert Wishbone-bushMirabilis laevis, Desert Wishbone-bushMirabilis laevis, Desert Wishbone-bushMirabilis laevis, Desert Wishbone-bushMirabilis laevis, Desert Wishbone-bush

Scientific Name: Mirabilis laevis
Common Name: Desert Wishbone-bush
Also Called:
Family: Nyctaginaceae, Four O’clock Family
Synonyms: (Hesperonia retrorsa, Mirabilis bigelovii, Mirabilis bigelovii var. retrorsa)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial.
Size: Up to 2 feet or more.
Growth Form: Forb/herb, subshrub; straggling weak-stemmed, sticky or viscid, pilose or villous herbage.
Leaves: Green; deciduous, simple, pubescent, cordate to broadly ovate.
Flower Color: White to pale pink
Flowering Season: March to October.
Elevation: Up to 3,000 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Rocky slopes.

Recorded Range: Mirabilis laevis is found primarily in the southwest United States in AZ, CA, NV, OR, UT. In Arizona it is found mostly in the western 23 of the state.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Mirabilis laevis.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: 29 species more or less in Mirabilis throughout North America. 14 species in AZ and TX, 13 species in New Mexico and 12 species in California.

Mirabilis laevis has 5 varieties;
Mirabilis laevis var. cedrosensis, California Four O'clock (CA),
Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia, California Four O'clock (CA),
Mirabilis laevis var. laevis, Desert Wishbone-bush (CA),
Mirabilis laevis var. retrorsa, Wishbone-bush (AZ, CA, NV, OR, UT),
Mirabilis laevis var. villosa, Wishbone-bush (AZ, CA, NV).

The Plant List includes 224 scientific plant names of species rank for the genus Mirabilis. Of these 63 are accepted species names.

Comments: Desert Wishbone-bush is common where found in Arizona and now includes Mirabilis californica and several other related species are now included as varieties.

Also see in Southwest Desert Flora; Scarlet Four O'clock, Mirabilis coccinea, Colorado Four O'clock, Mirabilis multiflora and Dwarf Four O'clock, Mirabilis pumila.

Date Profile Completed: 12/10/2015, updated format 09/28/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California, as Mirabilis bigelovii var. retrorsa.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Mirabilis laevis', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 6 October 2015, 02:46 UTC, [accessed 11 December 2015]
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 12/10/2015).
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information