Friday, February 25, 2011

Four O'Clock Flower

Thanks to Ting, I know now that my plant is the Four O'Clock plant.

It is also called Mirabilis, or Marvel of Peru, or "Purple Jasmine". The plant is called Four O’clock because it tends to flower in the late afternoon. It is not actually the time of day that causes the flowers to open, but the drop in temperature. And so the flowers are still open in the early morning before I go to work.

The flowers are extremely fragrant - I suspect that might be the reason why it is called "Purple Jasmine".. And they attract nocturnal pollinators like moths!

The flowers are used in food colouring. And the leaves can apparently be used to reduce inflammation.

The seeds however, are extremely poisonous, leading one website to call it the "fatally fragrant flower"

Such an interesting plant!


Photo from here

3 comments:

milka said...

So this is called the 'Four O'clock flower'. Haven't seen before i wonder how frangrant it is. We call Portulacas as 'Ten O'clock flower', but my flowers come to bloom at noon.

My SINFONIA said...

They are pretty...like a hibiscus in some ways. Really curious what it smells like

Open Kitchen Concept said...

Oh ten o'clock is very appropriate for portulacas! :)

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