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Re: 4 O'Clocks and Hollyhocks, Iris companions

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: 4 O'Clocks and Hollyhocks, Iris companions
  • From: Henryanner@aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 16 Feb 1997 10:00:24 -0700 (MST)


Four o'clocks in their most familiar form--Mirabilis jalapa--- are actually a
somewhat tender tuber forming perennial. Under suitable circumstances the
tubers will winter over, or they may be lifted as stored as one might dahlias
or cannas. These tubers can reach considerable size--Hortus Third says up to
forty pounds.

There are several Mirabilis in addition to jalapa and the western native.
Among these are Mirabilis longiflora, in which the tube is up to six inches
long. This is especially fragrant, but harder from seed, and it is grown in
the restored gardens of Monticello.

We love four o'clocks as well. As children we were delighted that the flowers
were often striped and bicolored on the same plant. We grow a stand of four
o'clocks now, but we have only the pure white form since this suits our
garden better. Their fragrance is lovely and they are said to repel
mosquitos. Our mosquito population is so large that we cannot speak to that.

In addition to Park's seeds, who are offering the striped form this year.
seeds for both jalapa--in separate colors-- and longiflorum may be obtained
from The Fragrant Path, P.O. Box 328, Fort Calhoun, Nebraska 68023. Catalog
is two dollars and I recommend it with pleasure.

Anner Whitehead, Richmond, VA Zone 7 

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