Herb: Four O'clock Plant

Latin name: Mirabilis multiflora

Family: Nyctaginaceae (Four-o'clock Family)

Medicinal use of Four O'clock Plant:

The root is used in the treatment of stomach complaints. A pinch of the powdered root is said to relieve hunger, it can also be used after overeating to relieve the discomfort. A poultice of the powdered root can be applied to swellings. Large quantities of the root are said to cause intoxication. The root was chewed by native North American Medicine men to induce visions whilst making a diagnosis.

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Hillsides and mesas, often amongst rocks and shrubs.

Edible parts of Four O'clock Plant:

The dried root can be ground into a powder, mixed with cereal flours and used to make a bread. This bread is eaten to reduce the appetite.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seed remains viable for several years. Division in spring as the plant comes into growth.

Cultivation of Four O'clock Plant:

Hillsides and mesas, often amongst rocks and shrubs.

Known hazards of Mirabilis multiflora:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.