Mirabilis longiflora

Judy Glattstein jglatt@ptd.net
Sun, 17 Aug 2003 11:17:46 PDT
The shape of the flower on M. longiflora is quite distinct from that of M.
jalapa, which is the only other species with which I'm familiar. Those of M.
longiflora are daintier in appearance, small in relation to the length of
the perianth tube which can be 2 inches or more in length. Also, the flowers
come in groups of three, while they appear individually in M. jalapa. My
plant has, as I said, white flowers with attractive thread-like violet
stamens. The only alternate flower color given in my reference books is
"tinged or marked with pink or violet." No yellow. If you knew how many
cannas I was digging each autumn (boxes and boxes of them) you'd understand
that one mirabilis was not a big deal (except when you chop part of it off.)
My plant makes those large dark brown seeds, clasped in a sticky calyx. They
often drop to the ground but I've never seen self-sown seedlings. Which
could mean it is forming seeds but perhaps they are not viable. I've never
bothered sowing seed as one large pot, and storing it over the winter is
sufficient. My plant has not been blooming, which I attribute to the very
overcast, rainy weather we've been having. The pot is under the roof
overhang, so it is not getting soaked. If it does bloom and seed is set I'll
sent some to Dell. Does anyone think it would propagate from stem cuttings?
If you saw the rootstock / tubers, you'd understand that division is not an

Alberto, compact is just about the antithesis of how I'd describe M.
longiflora, which is a sprawler and a flopper. M. dichotoma, from Mexico, is
said to have yellow flowers but not much more is listed about it. And
there's M. X hybrida, a cross between M. jalapa X M. longiflora listed in
the RHS Dictionary, with "Infl. dense, fls white, sometimes marked or tinted
crimson or yellow."


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