Mirabilis is a Latin word, signifying something wonderful or admirable, and applied with some reason.

M. jalapa, or common Four-o'clock of the gardens, is a very ornamental plant for borders. When cultivated it sports into many agreeable varieties.

It is considered and treated as a tender annual. It may, however, be planted the last of April, and bears a profusion of flowers in August and September. Although treated as an annual, it is, in its native country, a perennial, with the rest of the species. Its large tuberous roots, if taken up and preserved during winter, like the Dahlia, will flower perennially. The flowers are red in its native country, the West Indies; but in the garden are to be found white, yellow, various shades of red, and variegated flowers. The powder of these roots, washed, scraped, and dried, is one of the substances which form the jalap of druggists. Stem two to three feet high.

M. longiflora, like the last, is handsome and fragrant. The flowers are pure white, with purple bottom, standing on long tubes; in July and August.