Mirabilis multiflora (Colorado Four O'Clock)
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Mirabilis multiflora (Colorado Four O'Clock)

Colorado Four O'Clock, Giant Four O'Clock, Desert Four O'Clock


Blooming over an incredibly long season, Mirabilis multiflora (Colorado Four O'Clock) is a tuberous hardy perennial of sprawling and dense habit, boasting a profusion of fragrant, vibrant deep pink, broadly tubular flowers from spring to fall. Blooming in the leaf axils and in clusters at the tips of the numerous slender but much-branched stems, the large blossoms, up to 2 in. long (5 cm), open in the afternoon and close in the morning. They attract night insects as well as pollen-collecting bees, hummingbirds and quails. The showy flowers are nestled against the lush foliage of blue-green heart shaped leaves. Fast-growing, long-lived, drought tolerant and undemanding, Mirabilis multiflora has a commanding presence in the garden. It is spectacular as a ground cover, great for erosion control (thanks to its extensive root system), and is lovely cascading voluptuously a retaining wall. Place it along walkways or near patios where the night-blooming flowers and fragrance can be enjoyed. Mirabilis multiflora dies back in freezing winters, but resprouts from its large tuberous roots.

  • Grows up to 1-2 ft. tall (30-60 cm) and 3-5 ft. wide (90-150 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun to light shade, in dry or rocky, well-drained soils. Drought tolerant, it does well in dry, desert conditions.
  • A welcomed addition to beds and borders, cottage gardens or as a groundcover. Great to stabilize slopes and prevent erosion.
  • No serious insect or disease problems.
  • Can be mowed off at ground level in the fall.
  • Propagate by treated seed, soft cuttings, or dormant division of tuberous roots. Seed must be scarified or stratified.
  • Native to the southwestern United States.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 3' – 5' (90cm – 150cm)
Spacing 48" – 60" (120cm – 150cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Utah, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Ground Covers, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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Amy Washuta, Canyon Lands NPS, Andrey Zharkikh (Flickr)

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 3' – 5' (90cm – 150cm)
Spacing 48" – 60" (120cm – 150cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Utah, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Ground Covers, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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