Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Marvel of Peru, Mirabilis jalapa

Mirabilis jalapa, Marvel of Peru or Four o'clock flower

I quite like this plant even though it has the reputation of being a bit of a weed and is rarely available in nurseries. The fused trumpet shaped flowers are sweetly scented and open late in the afternoon over summer or during the day if it is cloudy. It is a shrubby plant to about 90cm growing from a large underground tuber. It produces lots of viable large seed so it is a case of once you have one plant you will have it in your garden for life come drought or flood. There are some interesting variations in the flower colour, with yellow and white forms and ones which are curiously splashed and variegated or neatly blocked with half the petals one colour and half the other, two tone really. It grows easily from seed or division, will tolerate coastal sea spray, poor soil or a difficult garden site in semi shade or full sun. It can be cut back hard after flowering or just run over with a mower if you are pressed for time.


  1. It also prevents other undesitable weeds like Parthenium from taking root. I like the colour variations you can see sometimes in a single plant.

  2. Beautiful, here we have lots of this plant..