Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Mirabilis pumila, Dwarf Four O'clock

Mirabilis pumila, Dwarf Four O'clockMirabilis pumila, Dwarf Four O'clockMirabilis pumila, Dwarf Four O'clockMirabilis pumila, Dwarf Four O'clock

Scientific Name: Mirabilis pumila
Common Name: Dwarf Four O'clock
Also Called:
Family: Nyctaginaceae, Four O’clock Family
Synonyms: (Oxybaphus pumilus, Allionia pumila)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 18 inches or so.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; stems are ascending and spreading or trailing, covered with short pubescence, often glandular hairy.
Leaves: Green; glandular hairy, triangular or broadly ovate.
Flower Color: Pale pink; pubescent, "flowers" (perianth) 2 or 3 originating from leaf axils from cup-shaped involucre, club-shaped fruit in papery bracts.
Flowering Season: June to September.
Elevation: 3,000 to 7,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Dry, rocky places.

Recorded Range: Dwarf Four O'clock is found in the southwest United States in AZ, CA, NV, UT and NM. It is also native to Baja California and northwest Mexico. In Arizona it is found in the northern, central and south central parts of the state with few records in the southwest part of the state.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Mirabilis pumila.

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. The type species Allionia pumila was collected from Kingman, Mohave County, Arizona.

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

Comments: Dwarf Four O'clock is similar in appearance to Desert Wishbone-bush (Mirabilis laevis).

Also see in Southwest Desert Flora; Scarlet Four O'clock, Mirabilis coccinea, Desert Wishbone-bush, Mirabilis laevis, and Colorado Four O'clock, Mirabilis multiflora.

Mirabilis coccinea is or has been in the recent past used as a dermatological aid (Kayenta Drug). See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 12/11/2015, 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, Oxybaphus pumilus.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 12/110/2015).
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 12/11/2015),5221,5236
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information