Trailing Four O'clock (Allionia incarnata)

The low-sprawling plant shown on the banner image above was flowering along the Pool Wash Ridge Road in April of 2004. These plants may sprawl to a distance of 10 feet, and may bloom throughout the southern Arizona warm season from March to October.

Here at left is a smaller plant photographed at the same time and place. (Click on the image to enlarge it .)

The leaves are "dirty green above, slivery beneath; sticky, hairy, oval; to 2" long (Epple, cited on main Wildflowers page, p. 58), and they also have "wavy edges" (Niehaus et al, p. 306). This is a perennial herb, with sticky stems, and it grows in a wide variety of places on our lands.

 

Though its flowers are quite small, viewed up close they are quite beautiful --

see the image at right, taken in the West Wash of lower Hot Springs Canyon in August of 2004. (Click on the image for a close-up of one flower). Members of the Four O'clock Family (Nyctaginaceae) have flowers which, despite their appearance to non-experts, lack true petals. Trailing Four O'clock is also known as "Trailing Windmills", by virtue of the similarity of the flower to a windmill shape. The flowers often occur in threes

Note the hairy leaves of this plant, which appear clearly in the close-up. (Note also the greenish bug enjoying the flower.)