This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's four o'clock

I noticed these pretty flowers along the railroad tracks on Monday morning and did not know what they were. A check of my Peterson's Field Guide to Wildflowers told me it was Mirabilis Nyctaginea, commonly called Wild Four O'Clock. It is a native plant that likes disturbed areas and is often found along railroads.
It does not seem to be useful for anything and is sometimes considered a weed. It may also be poisonous, so should not be eaten. One of the sites I found on the Internet said that the flowers are only open for a few hours, so I guess I was lucky to catch them looking the way they do in these pictures. And that probably explains why it is not grown as a garden flower.
The way the leaves are paired is quite distinctive.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mom & Gram grew its domesticated cousin The 4 O'Clock. Seems they opened up in the afternoon.

Anonymous said...

This plant might do well in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linnaeus%27_flower_clock