Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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NYCTAGINACEAE

FOUR O'CLOCK FAMILY

Richard Spellenberg

Perennial, shrub, tree, glabrous or hairy
Stem often forked
Leaves opposite, sessile or petioled, pairs generally unequal; blade generally entire
Inflorescence generally forked; of spikes, clusters, or umbels, each unit sometimes with a calyx-like involucre
Flower bisexual, radial; perianth of 1 whorl, petal-like, bell- to trumpet-shaped, base hardened, tightly surrounding ovary in fruit, lobes 4–5, generally notched to ± bilateral; stamens 1–many; ovary superior (appearing inferior because of hardened perianth base), style 1
Fruit: achene or nut, smooth, wrinkled, or ribbed
Genera in family: 30 genera, 300 species: warm regions, especially Am; some ornamental (Bougainvillea ; Mirabilis , four o'clock).

MIRABILIS

FOUR O'CLOCK

Perennial, subshrub
Stem repeatedly forked, decumbent to erect
Leaf generally petioled
Inflorescence forked; calyx-like involucres densely clustered or solitary in axils, bell- to saucer-shaped; flowers 1–16 per involucre, blooming sequentially
Flower: perianth funnel- to bell-shaped, lobes 5; stamens 3–5, generally exserted; stigma ± spheric, generally exserted
Fruit ± round to club-shaped, smooth to 5-ribbed; wing 0
Species in genus: ± 60 species: Am, Himalayas
Etymology: (Latin: wonderful)
Fls open in evening, close in morning. Spp. intergrade; Hermidium , Oxybaphus sometimes segregated, but intergrade with other species; careful study needed. [Pilz 1978 Madroño 25:113–132]

Introduced

M. jalapa L.

FOUR-O'CLOCK


Stem erect, < 1 m, glabrous to sparsely short-hairy
Leaf: blade 5–14 cm, ovate to cordate
Inflorescence: clusters of involucres, short-stalked, ± terminal; involucres bell-shaped; bracts 5, 5–15 mm, 1/2–3/4 fused; flower 1 per involucre
Flower: perianth 30–50 mm, narrowly funnel-shaped, generally bright magenta (yellow, white, or variegated)
Fruit 8–10 mm, ovoid, glabrous to minutely short-hairy; ribs 5, blunt, ± wrinkled or warty between ribs
Ecology: Disturbed places in mild-winter areas
Elevation: < 300 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province (especially San Francisco Bay Area)
Distribution outside California: native to tropical America
cultivated as ornamental. TOXIC: intestinal irritant in fruit, roots.

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