(White Four O’clock)

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Mirabilis albida, Overland Trail Recreation Area, Sterling, Logan Co. 7087

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Mirabilis albida, Overland Trail Recreation Area, Sterling, Logan Co. 7076

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Mirabilis albida, Overland Trail Recreation Area, Sterling, Logan Co. 7081

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Mirabilis albida, Overland Trail Recreation Area, Sterling, Logan Co. 7084

Scientific Name Mirabilis albida (Mirabilis hirsuta) USDA PLANTS Symbol MIAL4
Common Name White Four O'clock, Hairy Four O'clock ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 19626
Family Nyctaginaceae (Four O'clock) SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Plains to foothills (3900 to 8200 ft.); dry, sandy or rocky soils in meadows and hillsides.
Plant: Perennial with erect or decumbent, branching stems 30 to 48 inches tall; herbage often hairy, especially the upper portions.
Leaves: Lanceolate-oblong to ovate, opposite leaves, 3/8 to 4 inches long and 1/4 to 2-1/2 inches wide; sessile or on petioles up to 1-5/8 inches long; surfaces green to blue-gray, and smooth to hairy.
Inflorescence: White to pink or purple clusters of 2 or 3 flowers on hairy peduncles up to an inch long in terminal, few-branched panicles, or solitary in leaf axils; each cluster enclosed by a bell-shaped involucre up to 1/4-inch long in flower and twices as long in fruit; involucre bracts are hairy, and pale green or blushed with purple; flowers blooms early in the day, dropping their petals soon after.
Bloom Period: June to September.
Fruit: Hairy, brown to dark brown obovoid to narrowly obovate seed capsules less than 1/4-inch long.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield and SEINet.
Note: Images here were taken at mid-day after all of the petals had dropped, so you see the greenish-white, spreading involucre bracts and the dark brown seed capsules.
BONAP Distribution Map

Colorado Status:
Native

© Tom Lebsack 2022

Banner photo: Ten Mile Range and Rhodiola integrifolia (King’s Crown) in Summit County