Arizona Naturalists >>> Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Sonoran Desert Flora >>> Nyctaginaceae >>> Mirabilis coccinea

Scarlet Four-O'Clock

Mirabilis coccinea
(Oxybaphus coccineus)

Mirabilis coccinea photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed in Rackensack Canyon, Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA on Aug 3, 2008.

Sponsored Links:

FLOWERS: Bright red, tubular flowers. Several flowers subtended by a bowl-like involucre. Without green sepals. Blooming late spring or summer highly dependent on rainfall. Attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.

RANGE: Rare in the Sonoran Desert - more likely to be found in higher altitude habitats such as piñon or even ponderosa woods. In the Sonoran Desert look in partially shaded and woody canyons on rocky slopes.

ANNUAL: Upright herbaceous plant with bi- or tri-furcating branching habit. Some plants may lean on adjacent shrubs and reach a length of one meter.

LEAVES: Leaves are opposite on the stems at partly enlarged nodes. Almost linear, fleshy and gray-green with wavy margins.
Clustered fruit of Mirabilis coccinea photo © by Michael Plagens
FRUIT: Appearing like a small lantern with five ribs enclosing a single seed. Two or more of these fruits may be clustered together surrounded by a star-shaped bract.


Nyctaginaceae -- Four-O'Clock Family

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2012