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Mirabilis alipes

Higher Taxonomy
Family: NyctaginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: 30 genera, 350 species: warm regions, especially America; some ornamental (Bougainvillea; Mirabilis, four o'clock).
eFlora Treatment Author: Andy Murdock, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: MirabilisView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: FOUR O'CLOCK
Habit: 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.
Species In Genus: +- 60 species: America, Himalayas. Etymology: (Latin: wonderful) Note: Flowers open in evening, close in morning; species intergrade, taxonomy unsettled.

Mirabilis alipes (S. Watson) Pilz
Stem: decumbent to erect, 2--4 dm; glaucous, hairs 0 or sparse upward. Leaf: blade 2--7 cm, broadly ovate to round, fleshy, hairs 0 or sparse, short. Inflorescence: involucre 1 per upper axil, peduncled, +- cup-shaped, glabrous; bracts 5--7(9), free to +- 1/2 fused, 15--30 mm, broadly ovate, each subtending, fused to 1 pedicel. Flower: perianth 15--19 mm, funnel-shaped, magenta (creamy white). Fruit: 5.5--7 mm, elliptic, glabrous; ribs 10, slender, tan.
Ecology: Dry slopes, flats; Elevation: 1200--2000 m. Bioregional Distribution: W&I, DMtns (Panamint Range); Distribution Outside California: to western Colorado. Flowering Time: May--Jun
Synonyms: Hermidium alipes S. Watson
eFlora Treatment Author: Andy Murdock
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botanical illustration including Mirabilis alipes


Citation for this treatment: Andy Murdock 2016. Mirabilis alipes, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 06, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 06, 2016.

Mirabilis alipes
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© 1993 Gary A. Monroe
Mirabilis alipes
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© 2000 Gary A. Monroe
Mirabilis alipes
click for enlargement
© 1993 Gary A. Monroe
Mirabilis alipes
click for enlargement
© 2012 Gary A. Monroe
Mirabilis alipes
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© 2006 Larry Blakely
Mirabilis alipes
click for enlargement
© 2012 Gary A. Monroe

More photos of Mirabilis alipes in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Mirabilis alipes:
W&I, DMtns (Panamint Range);
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).

View elevation by latitude chart
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.