Plant Image
Willow Dells Tr - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Mirabilis coccinea - scarlet four o'clock

Synonyms: Oxybaphus coccineus
Other Common Names: red four o' clock
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Nyctaginaceae

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Flower buds
Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial   Similar Species: Mirabilis linearis
General Desc: A spindly plant with very narrow leaves, erect stems and bright red flowers with exerted stamens that only open at night.
Identification notes: Leaf blades at least 5 times as long as wide; no petals, 5 sepals are bright red, 3 to 4 times as long as bracts; the whorl of united bracts enlarge and become papery in fruit; fruit strongly 5-angled. M. linearis has densely hairy flower clusters.
Height: 1 to 2 feet


Habitat Description: Dry, open hillsides of igneous rock, shrubs, pinyon-juniper or mixed conifer woodlands.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest
Elevation: 4000 - 6500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Bright red     Shape: Irregular in elongated clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: May - Aug
Description: Flowers have very long stamens with a bright purple color at the tips, to 1-3/4 inches long including stamens, occur in long-stemmed clusters of 3.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Dark grayish-green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Opposite     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves can be thread-like to 4 inches long, moderately thick and fleshy, narrow at their base, pointed at the apex. Few leaves on the stalk.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Pale olive brown   
Fruit Type: Achene
Fruit Notes: To 1/4 inch. Ribbed and either smooth or with a slight wart-like appearance on surface.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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