Nyctaginaceae / Four o'clock
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Lore: The Cherokee poured milk over the leaves of the closely related Heartleaf Four o'clock (Mirabilis nyctaginea) to make a fly poison.(Hamel/Chiltoskey)
Medical Uses: The closely related and more plentiful Heartleaf Four
o'clock (Mirabilis nyctaginea) has been used by Native Americans in the form of a root tea to treat burns, fevers
and to expel intestinal parasites.(Foster &
Duke) The Cherokee crushed the root for a poultice to use on boils.(Hamel/Chiltoskey)
Warning: Considered toxic.
Similar Species: Heartleaf Four o'clock (Mirabilis nyctaginea) has
heart shaped leaves on longer petioles.
The Four o'clock of flower gardens is Marvel of Peru (Mirabilis jalapa). It sometimes escapes cultivation and establishes itself.
One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.
This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.
Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves