Mirabilis jalapa

(the four o’clock flower  ) is the most commonly grown ornamental species of Mirabilis, and is available in a range of colours. Mirabilis in Latin means wonderful and Jalapa is a not uncommon place name in Central and North America.

Additionally, an individual flower can be splashed with different colors. Another interesting point is a color-changing phenomenon. For example, in the yellow variety, as the plant matures, it can display flowers that gradually change to a dark pink color. Similarly whiteflowers can change to light violet.

A four o’clock plant in full bloom.

The flowers usually open from late afternoon onwards, then producing a strong, sweet-smelling fragrance,

 

MEDICINAL PROPERTIES
Four O’ Clock plant flowers are trumpet shaped, about an inch across at the end and about two inches long. They open in the evening and wilt the next morning. Four o’clock are leafy, shrub like, multi-branched perennials which bloom throughout summer. The plants are erect and spreading, 2-3 ft tall and just as wide. They have numerous branches and opposite, pointed leaves 2-4 in long. The fragrant flowers are borne singly or in clusters, and can be red, magenta, pink, yellow or white, sometimes with more than one color on the same plant. Like Petunia, bicolored flowers can also be grown. The plants continue to produce new flowers from late spring until fall. Four o’clock have large, black carrot shaped tubers that can be a foot or more long.
The flowers are used in food colouring. The leaves may be eaten cooked as well, but only as an emergency food. An edible crimson dye is obtained from the flowers to colour cakes and jellies.

In herbal medicine, parts of the plant may be used as a diuretic, purgative, and for vulnerary (wound healing) purposes. The root is believed an aphrodisiac as well as diuretic and purgative. It is used in the treatment of dropsy.
The leaves are used to reduce inflammation. A decoction of them (mashing and boiling) is used to treat abscesses. Leaf juice may be used to treat wounds.
Powdered, the seed of some varieties is used as a cosmetic and a dye. The seeds are considered Poisonous

 

Specifications

Root: nutrient, purgative, aphrodisiac; Leaf: maturant.

The flowers are used in food colouring. The leaves may be eaten cooked as well, but only as an emergency food. An edible crimson dye is obtained from the flowers to colour cakes and jellies. In herbal medicine, parts of the plant may be used as a diuretic, purgative, and for vulnerary (wound healing) purposes. The root is believed an aphrodisiac as well as diuretic and purgative. It is used in the treatment of dropsy. The leaves are used to reduce inflammation. A decoction of them (mashing and boiling) is used to treat abscesses. Leaf juice may be used to treat wounds. Powdered, the seed of some varieties is used as a cosmetic and a dye. The seeds are considered poisonous.

 

 

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