Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Mirabilis multiflora, Colorado Four O'clock

Mirabilis multiflora, Colorado Four O'clockMirabilis multiflora, Colorado Four O'clockMirabilis multiflora, Colorado Four O'clockMirabilis multiflora, Colorado Four O'clockMirabilis multiflora, Colorado Four O'clock

Scientific Name: Mirabilis multiflora
Common Name: Colorado Four O'clock
Also Called: Colorado Four-O'clock, Desert Four O'clock, Manyflowered Four-O'clock
Family: Nyctaginaceae, Four O’clock Family
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 18 inches or more and 2 or 3 feet wide.
Growth Form: Forb/herb, subshrub; bushy, stems erect to ascending.
Leaves: Green, dark green; rounded to ovate, glandular hairy or becoming glabrous.
Flower Color: Magenta-purple, brilliant deep pink; showy "flowers", inflorescence a long thin stem, "flowers" or perianth from cups, up to 6 "flowers" per involucre cup originating from leaf axils, flowers close early in the day and re-open in the evening, "flowers" bell- funnel- or trumpet-shaped, fruit elliptical.
Flowering Season: April to September.
Elevation: 2,500 to 6,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Dry hillsides, mesas, sandy areas, among rocks and shrubs. Baja California.

Recorded Range: Mirabilis multiflora is found in the southwest United States in AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, TX, UT. It is also native to Baja California and northern Mexico. In Arizona it is found throughout most of the state.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Mirabilis multiflora.

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 multiflora has 2 varieties;
Mirabilis multiflora var. glandulosa, Colorado Four O'clock (AZ, CA, NV, UT),
Mirabilis multiflora var. multiflora, Colorado Four O'clock (AZ, CO, NV, NM,TX, UT),
Mirabilis multiflora var. pubescens, Colorado Four O'clock (AZ, CA, CO, NV, NM, UT).

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

Comments: Colorado Four O'clock is a stunning plant to encounter in natural habitat with its brilliant flowers and dark green leaves.

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

Colorado Four O'clock is or has been used as a gynecological aid (Hopi Drug), veterinary aid (Hopi Drug) and for anti-rheumatic (Navajo Drug) purposes. 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.
Richard W. Spellenberg, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 4 | Nyctaginaceae | Mirabilis, Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. as Boerhavia erecta var. intermedia (accessed 6/2/2012; 07/29/2012; 12/09/2015)
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 12/10/2015).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: 12/11/2015]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 12/11/2015),5221,5231
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information