Entry for September 24, 2007
Unlike the huge Aster family, the plant pictured is from family with very few representatives in Ohio. One is a fairly common non-native garden flower that amazed me a s a youth. It was called the Four O'clock, Mirabilis jalapa and its flowers would open in the afternoon. It's common name was originally the Miracle of Peru.
This native plant is also in the Four O'clock or Nyctaginaceae family. Often growing on scrubby wastelands or shorelines, this one was at Sheldon Marsh. This without doubt is the most beautifully colored of the Mirabilis nyctaginea, or Heart-leaved Four O'clocks I have seen. The pink and yellowish bracts were far more vibrant than the usual lime green. The flowers are a very showy hot-pink, but they are very short lived and rarely seen. You will probably happen upon this plant when the flowers are closed or it is in fruit. It still is an attractive addition to our flora.
Not your usual fall flower, to be sure, but one worth knowing.