Sweet Four O'Clock

Mirabilis longiflora (Sweet Four O'Clock or Maravilla) has been added to my Wildflowers of Tucson, Arizona website.

Mirabilis longiflora (Sweet Four O'Clock or Maravilla)

Sweet Four O'Clocks have sweetly fragrant, white to pale pink, tubular flowers with dark pink centers. The flowers are up to 8 inches (20 cm) long, and their curling, magenta stamens are even longer, projecting as much as 2 inches (5 cm) beyond the flower tips. The flowers open around dusk and close the following morning.

Sweet Four O'Clocks are perennials and sprout from tuberous roots. The plants form large, spreading mounds and can be up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall, although they are usually around 3 feet (91 cm) tall.

These lush, tropical-looking plants are native to here in the Southwest and Mexico, but they are cultivated in other areas where they make dramatic and fragrant additions to moonlight gardens.

Mirabilis longiflora (Sweet Four O'Clock or Maravilla)

I discovered large numbers of these plants growing along the stream at Molino Canyon Vista Overlook in September. I took these pictures around sunset. Even though I had already seen these plants during the day with their flowers closed, I was still amazed at their glorious evening floral display. Their Latin name, Mirabilis, as well as their Spanish name, Maravilla, both mean "marvelous", which these lovely, nocturnal wildflowers certainly are.