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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.
Reference: Spellenberg 2003 FNANM 4:40--57

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
Reference: Spellenberg 2003 FNANM 4:40--57
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botanical illustration including Mirabilis alipes


Citation for this treatment: Andy Murdock 2012, Mirabilis alipes, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 21, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 21, 2018.

Mirabilis alipes
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© 2000 Gary A. Monroe
Mirabilis alipes
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© 2006 Larry Blakely
Mirabilis alipes
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© 2010 Neal Kramer
Mirabilis alipes
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© 1993 Gary A. Monroe
Mirabilis alipes
click for enlargement
© 2010 Neal Kramer
Mirabilis alipes
click for enlargement
© 2006 Larry Blakely

More photos of Mirabilis alipes in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Mirabilis alipes:
W&I, DMtns (Panamint Range);
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.