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Andy Murdock, except as noted

Annual, perennial herb, subshrub, [shrub, tree], glabrous or hairy. Stem: often forked. Leaf: opposite, sessile or petioled, pairs generally unequal; blade generally entire. Inflorescence: generally forked; spike, head-like cluster, or umbel, flowers rarely 1, bracts forming a calyx-like involucre or not. Flower: bisexual, generally ± radial (bilateral), sometimes cleistogamous in some genera; perianth of 1 whorl, generally petal-like, bell- to trumpet-shaped, base hardened, tightly surrounding ovary in fruit, lobes 3–5, generally notched to ± lobed; stamens 1–many; ovary superior (appearing inferior due to hardened perianth base), style 1. Fruit: achene in hardened perianth base; round to ± flat; smooth, angled, ribbed, or winged; glabrous, hairy, or glandular.
30 genera, 350 species: warm regions, especially America; some ornamental (Bougainvillea; Mirabilis, four o'clock). [Spellenberg 2003 FNANM 4:14–17] —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Nyctaginaceae

Perennial herb, subshrub. Stem: repeatedly forked, decumbent to erect. Leaf: generally petioled. Inflorescence: branches ending in umbel-like cluster or solitary flowers; bracts 5(9), ± fused (or not) into calyx-like, bell- to saucer-shaped involucre; flowers in 1 involucre 1–16, generally not blooming together; flowers cleistogamous or not. Flower: radial or ± bilateral; perianth funnel- to bell-shaped, lobes 5; stamens 3–5, generally exserted; stigma ± spheric, generally exserted. Fruit: ± round to club-shaped; ribs or angles 0, 5, 10; wings 0.
± 60 species: America, Himalayas. (Latin: wonderful) [Spellenberg 2003 FNANM 4:40–57] Flowers open in evening, close in morning; species intergrade, taxonomy unsettled.

Key to Mirabilis

M. albida (Walter) Heimerl
Stem, leaf hairs short to long, glandular or not. Stem: decumbent to erect, 10–50 cm (in California). Leaf: petiole < 4 cm, blade 2–6 cm lanceolate or wider. Inflorescence: axillary involucres generally 1, with cleistogamous flowers; involucre cup-shaped, green or ± purple, hairy, (1)3(5)-flowered, enlarged, < 8 mm, brown, papery in fruit; bracts 5, >= 1/2 fused. Flower: perianth 8–12 mm, broadly funnel-shaped, light pink to magenta. Fruit: 3–5 mm, tapered at both ends; ribs 5, wide, with warts or wrinkles between.
Dry, rocky areas; 1400–2500 m. San Bernardino Mountains, San Jacinto Mountains, White and Inyo Mountains, Desert Mountains; North America. [Mirabilis oblongifolia (A. Gray) Heimerl; Mirabilis pumila (Standl.) Standl.] Complex including variable, poorly defined, intergrading taxa and many named forms, some of which in California merit further study. May–Aug [Online Interchange]
Unabridged synonyms: [Mirabilis comata (Small) Standl.]
Unabridged note: Mirabilis albida is the oldest name for a more broadly defined sp. that include Mirabilis oblongifolia (A. Gray) Heimerl and Mirabilis pumila (Standl.) Standl. as recognized in TJM (1993) (Spellenberg 2004 FNANM); California plants identified as Mirabilis comata (Small) Standl. probably should be treated as a new taxon, a var. of Mirabilis albida (name not yet published); study needed.

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Feb 26 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Mirabilis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Feb 26 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Mirabilis albida Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.