Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Four O'Clock, Marvel of Peru
Mirabilis jalapa 'Custard and Cream'

Family: Nyctaginaceae (nyk-taj-i-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Mirabilis (mih-RAB-ih-liss) (Info)
Species: jalapa (juh-LAP-a) (Info)
Cultivar: Custard and Cream

Synonym:Mirabilis jalapa subsp. lindheimeri
Synonym:Mirabilis lindheimeri

12 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Seed is poisonous if ingested
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow
Bright Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Click thumbnail
to view:

By LilyLover_UT
Thumbnail #1 of Mirabilis jalapa by LilyLover_UT

By luvsgrtdanes
Thumbnail #2 of Mirabilis jalapa by luvsgrtdanes

By DMgardener
Thumbnail #3 of Mirabilis jalapa by DMgardener


3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Drakonis On Jul 9, 2011, Drakonis from Butler, MO wrote:

This plant has come back from a tuber in my zone 5 (Missouri) garden several years. The pinwheel effect is charming and the fragrance is a plus too. If you have a night garden, don't pass this gem up.

Positive WUVIE On Sep 25, 2007, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Well, I'll be darned!

I've been growing Four O'Clocks for years and years.
Apparently I've never paid much attention, but lo and
behold, I found a patch of Custard and Cream today
while gathering seeds.

I had to check, check, and double check, but indeed the
different colored blooms are on the same plant. Some are
yellow and some are very faint, not quite white, but definitely
Custard and Cream.

(squealing with delight!)

Positive LilyLover_UT On Jan 17, 2005, LilyLover_UT from Ogden, UT (Zone 5b) wrote:

'Custard and Cream' is interesting for its yellow, white, and bicolor blooms. The flowers open in the evening with a sweet fragrance.

Four O'Clocks are easy to grow from seed. Soak the seeds overnight, then direct sow in the garden in late spring, just covering them with soil. Even though the plants are annuals, they frequently overwinter here in zone 5, and they self-sow.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tempe, Arizona
Elk Grove, California
Centerbrook, Connecticut
Keystone Heights, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Palatine, Illinois
Quincy, Illinois
Gonzales, Louisiana
Butler, Missouri
Raleigh, North Carolina
Massillon, Ohio
Hulbert, Oklahoma
North Augusta, South Carolina
Westmoreland, Tennessee
Brazoria, Texas
Cibolo, Texas
Missouri City, Texas

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