Mirabilis jalapa

John Grimshaw j.grimshaw@virgin.net
Fri, 12 Sep 2008 23:50:28 PDT
Tsuh Yang wrote about Mirabilis jalapa;

>some plants produce both yellow and pink/magenta flowers.  at first, i 
>thought they were different plants, but actually they were from the same 
>one.  has anyone seen this before?<

The production of multi-coloured flowers from the same plant is the reason 
why Mirabilis is called that - mirabilis translates as marvellous, 
wonderful, or amazing. It may be a shortened form of Admirabilis, which was 
also in use for it in the 1500s & 1600s. The English name Marvel of Peru was 
attached by about 1600.

With its diversity of colours it is easy to see why the Spanish 
conquistadors noticed it and brought it back from the Americas at an early 
date. Then its free-seeding enabled its rapid distribution in European 
gardens where one can imagine how greatly its abundance of bright flowers 
enlivened the scene.

John Grimshaw

Dr. John M. Grimshaw
Sycamore Cottage
GL53 9NP

Tel. 01242 870567 

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