Mirabilis jalapa  L. – Four o’clock  - Nyctaginaceae

Four o'clocks, Mirabilis jalapa, grow as tuberous-rooted perennials in their native tropical America.  In temperate regions they are grown as annuals.  They are known as four o'clocks because their flowers open in late afternoon, remain open all night, and close at dawn on sunny days.

Flowers soaked in water impart a crimson dye used for tinting jellies and seaweed cakes in China.  The Japanese obtain a cosmetic powder from the ground seeds.7 In India the quarter-inch, vase-shaped black seeds furnish beads for necklaces.

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