Mirabilis pumila (Standl.) Standl.
Family: Nyctaginaceae
Mirabilis pumila image
Max Licher  
Wiggins 1964, FNA 2003, Kearney and Peebles 1969, McDougall 1973, USDA Plants
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Herbaceous perennials, to 50 cm tall, stems fragile, low and decumbent, much-branched, with swollen nodes, herbage viscid and pilose or villous to the base. Leaves: Opposite, deltoid or deltoid-ovate to nearly orbicular, 2-6 cm long and about as wide, blades thickish, succulent, surfaces puberulent or short-pilose, petioles 1-2 cm long. Flowers: Pale pink or purplish, calyx corolla-like, campanulate or funnelform, 8-10 mm long, the limb 5-lobed, stamens unequal, 3-5, exserted, flowers perfect, borne in groups of 1-5 in calyx-like involucres with united bracts, these 3-4 mm long at anthesis, the involucres becoming large, 7-8 mm long, densely viscid-pilose, reticulate-veined and papery in fruit, flower clusters axillary or in narrow cymes. Fruits: Anthocarp, obovoid, to 5 mm long, surfaces short-pilose and rugose. Seeds obovoid, to 3 mm long. Ecology: Found from 3,000-7,500 ft (914-2286 m); flowering June-September. Distribution: New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah. Notes: This is another species thought to belong in the M. albida complex. Jepson 1993 places it within that taxa which is defined by the hairy involucre. FNA 2003 does not recognize this taxa either, but again this description draws from Martin and Hutchins 1980. Ethnobotany: Plant used as a lotion for sores and skin eruptions. Etymology: Mirabilis is Latin for miraculous or wonderful, while pumila means dwarf. Synonyms: Allionia pumila, Oxybaphus pumilus Editor: SBuckley 2011, LCrumbacher 2012