Colorado Four O’Clock

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Mirabilis multiflora (Torr.) A. Gray

This substantial plant dies back to the ground each winter and is late to return the following spring. It will surprise you with its vigorous growth each summer and long-lasting show of bright-purple flowers. Colorado four o’clock reseeds moderately, but its taproot makes transplanting seedlings tricky. Wyoming has three native species of Mirabilis—all with pretty flowers, though less spectacular than M. multiflora.


Height: 12-24”
Width: 2-4’
Water needs: low, extremely low once established
Exposure: full sun
Availability in nurseries: uncommon but germinates easily from seed (although difficult to transplant)
Native range: southwest U.S., TX to CA, and north to CO
Plant family: Nyctaginaceae

 

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Photo by Amy Fluet