MIRABILIS Four-o’clock (Marvel-of-peru)
(Name from mirabilis, wonderful, or some say shortenedform of Admirabilis)
The Four-o’clocks are well known and were favorites with our grandmothers, just as they are admired by us today. The flowers remain closed until late afternoon, hence the name Four-o’clock. They are white, crimson, violet, yellow and striped. The plants are 2 feet tall, and during a season produce hundreds of blooms, starting in late Summer and continuing until cut down by frost.
Where to Plant. Four-o’clocks are useful for temporary hedges between the flower and vegetable gardens. A few plants will fill the bare spaces found, in so many cases, between the house foundations and the walk leading to the backyard. In beds by themselves they are also attractive, but the range of colors is peculiar and difficult to combine with some other annuals.
GENERAL. The plants often self-sow. Otherwise sow the seeds thinly in the row where they are to grow as soon as danger from frost is passed, or else start them earlier in a sunny window or hotbed, and plant out when the trees are in leaf, setting them 1 to 9. feet apart. The plants produce rather tuberous roots, which may be dug and stored over Winter, and produce plants of great size when set out in Spring. Seldom do Four-o’clocks come perfectly true from seed but vary greatly, often several colors of bloom are found on the same plant.