Family: Nyctaginaceae

Scientific Name: Mirabilis jalapa Lemon Swirl

Common Name: Four O' Clock flower Lemon Swirl


Four O' Clock Lemon Swirl (Mirabilis jalapha) produces white, yellow and white flowers with lemon swirls. Blossums late in the afternoon and will still be open in the morning. A common name for these plants is Marvel of Peru.

Pronunciation(mih-RAB-ih-liss) (juh-LAP-a)
Plant TypeAnnuals, Perennial Tender, Site author's observations
Hardiness Zone(8)9-10
Sunlightfull, mostly sunny, some shade
Soil & Siteaverage
Growing Mediaaverage
Temperaturefrost sensitive
Flowerstrumpet shaped formed from the calyx that flares out at the top, solid yellow and white, also white with yellow, hence the name Lemon Swirl, early evening summer bloomer that stays open all night and still open in the early morning
Fruitan achene, often enveloped by the calyx tube
Stemsproduces tubers which are modified underground stems
Dimensions24-30 inches tall, 1/2-3/4 spread
Propagationeasy from the large black seeds, soaking may help, planting the tubers
Native SiteSpecies native to Central America.
Misc FactsAll parts of this plant are reported to be poisonous. Mirabilis Latin for miracle. Jalapa is the name of the city where it was reported to be found. AKA: Marvel of Peru
Author's NotesThis was the first time I grew this plant was in 2018. I planted them in 6 inch pots and moved to 3 plants per a large 24 inch pot. Took a bit for the plant to start blooming when planted outside Once they did , I always enjoyed the late bloom and still blooming in the morning. It reached the point where the amount of flowers became less and less. Looking at the plant I saw it was loaded with large black seeds. I propagated the plants with seeds.
Notes & Reference#47-Annuals for the Connoisseurs (Wayne Winterrowd), #144-Missouri Botanical Gardens web site (
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