Mirabilis jalapa Linn., Sp. Pl. 177. 1753. Bailey, l.c.; Webb, l.c.
Herbs up to 1.5 m tall. Roots tuberous. Stem dichotomous, glabrous to minutely pubescent, often swollen at the nodes, reddish, glaucescent and flaccid. Leaves ovate, 5-12 X 2-6 cm, acuminate, puberulous, base slightly oblique. Involucral bracts ovate, united at the base, c. 9 mm long, sepaloid, puberulous and nervose. Flowers subsessile, in clusters of 4-5; pedicel c. 2 mm long. Perianth tube 2.5-3(-3.5) cm long, puberulous outside, limb plicately 5-lobed; lobes emarginate. Stamens 5, exserted; filaments c. 4 cm long, reddish, lower half adnate to the tube, basally connate and surrounding the ovary. Ovary 1.5 mm long, ovoid; ovule solitary, basal, surrounded by a few linear scales. Style reddish; stigma capitate. Anthocarp 9 mm long, ovoid, 5-ribbed, black, tuberculate. Nut subglobose, c. 7 mm long.
Fl. Per.: Sept.-Oct.
Type locality: Peru.
Distribution: A native of S. America; widely cultivated and found as an escape in many tropical areas.
A garden annual with pretty red flowers. Mutants with large yellow or white flowers are known (Y. Nasir 6238, RAW). The faintly fragrant flowers open in the late afternoon. The leaves and roots are said to be medicinal.