narrow-leaved four o’clock

(Mirabilis linearis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

 

No image available

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNA - Not applicable

Minnesota

not listed

Nativity

Native

     
Occurrence

Uncommon

     
Habitat

Dry. Prairies, railroad tracks, disturbed areas.

Flowering

May to August

     
Flower Color

Pale pink to purple

     
Height

1 to 3½

     
 
Identification

Narrow-leaved four o’clock occurs across the United States, in northern and central Mexico, and in southern Canada. It is most common in the Great Plains states. It is uncommon in Minnesota, found in just a few scattered locations.

Narrow-leaved four o’clock is an erect, perennial herb that rises from a thick, dark, fleshy or woody taproot.

The stems are usually hairless or nearly hairless below the inflorescence, and covered with a whitish, waxy coating. They are usually erect or curve upward from the base, occasionally they recline on the ground with the tips ascending.

The leaves are opposite, untoothed, long and narrow, 1 to 4½ long and rarely as much as wide, straight, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass. They narrow to a stalk-like base but are attached to the stem without a differentiated leaf stalk. They are spreading or strongly ascending at a 5° to 80° angle. The upper surface is green to blue-gray and covered with a whitish, waxy coating. They are thick, juicy, and fleshy, and become wrinkled when they age.

The inflorescence is single branched clusters at the end of each stem branch and in the leaf axils. The clusters appear at the end of to ½ long hairy stalks. The clusters have 3 flowers each and are themselves hairy.

The flowers are ¼ to ½ wide. They have little or no fragrance. There are 5 pale pink to purple petal-like sepals. The sepals are fused at the base forming a tube, then flare outward. There are 5 hairy bracts, to ¼ long, at the base of the flower that are fused into a pale green, sometimes tinged with purple, narrowly to widely bell-shaped cup. The flowers open in the late afternoon, giving this plant its common name, remain open all night, and close in the morning.

The fruit is a one-seeded achene. It is subtended by the persistent, bell-shaped fused bracts that have increased in size as the fruit developed, becoming to ½ long.

 
Similar
Species

This plant is distinguished from other Mirabilis species in Minnesota be the narrow leaves less than wide.

Hairy four o’clock (Mirabilis albida) has a hairy stem. The leaves are on short leaf stalks, are hairy, narrow and lance-shaped. There are no flower clusters at the end of the stems.

Heart-leaved four o’clock (Mirabilis nyctaginea) has broad, egg-shaped to round lance-shaped leaves, and small flowers with much shorter tubes.

 
Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.
 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Family:

Nyctaginaceae (four o’clock)

 

Tribe:

Nyctagineae

 
Synonyms

Allionia decumbens

Allionia gausapoides

Allionia linearis

Calymenia decumbens

Mirabilis decumbens

Mirabilis diffusa

Mirabilis gausapoides

Mirabilis albida var. linearis

Mirabilis lanceolata

 

Mirabilis linearis var. subhispida

Oxybaphus angustifolius

Oxybaphus decumbens

Oxybaphus diffusus

Oxybaphus gausapoides

Oxybaphus lanceolatus

Oxybaphus linearis

Oxybaphus linearis var. subhispidus

 
Common
Names

linearleaf four-o’clock

narrow-leaf four-o’clock

narrowleaf four o clock

 

narrowleaf four o’clock

narrowleaf four-o’clock

narrow-leaved umbrella-wort

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Achene

A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded fruit, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.

 

Axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

 

Bracts

Modified leaves at the base of a flower stalk or flower cluster.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

       
Visitor Photos
   
Share your photo of this plant.
 

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
     
     
     
     
     

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
       
Share your video of this plant.
   

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more videos or YouTube links and, if you like, a caption.

       
       
Other Videos
 
       
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   
Report a sighting of this plant.
 
This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.

     
     
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
         

 

 

Binoculars


Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2020 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.