Mirabilis jalapa seeds Marvel of Peru
Mirabilis jalapa originates from the Peruvian Andes and the hub of the Incan empire. It is a spreading plant with interesting arrow shaped leaves which grows up to 2 ft tall and wide. It blooms all season long in magnificent flushes of lovely tubular flowers with a wide corolla. The flowers can range from white to reddish to purplish with nearly every plant producing a different color. The flowers open in the late afternoon and emit a wonderful fragrance throughout the evening. This is an old time garden standard which has become increasingly uncommon nowadays. Interestingly the plants emerge from a massive caudex. Fat plant collectors often display these in pots raised for viewing. They make outstanding additions to the Caudex collection! M. jalapa is root hardy to zero. It is fast growing and easy from seed and also self seeds readily (without becoming invasive). In the ethnobotanical sense this species also has a long history. The flowers have traditionally been used as a natural food coloring. The leaves are eaten as a famine food in S. America. The leaves are also commonly used as a wound dressing for preventing or treating infection. The root is diuretic and also considered to be an aphrodisiac. The black seeds, which somewhat resemble small rudraksha, have been used to fashion rosaries. This one is definitely a good addition to the Flower bed!