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Marvel of Peru; Four-o'clock flower (Mirabilis jalapa), fam. Nyctaginaceae.
Grown on garden beds, blooms in hot summer evenings, starting from June. The color of its fragrant flowers is very diverse. Sometimes it differs even within one bush. The plant is perennial, but in cold regions it is grown as annual – from the seeds, which are usually sprouted in advance to accelerate the development. The tubers cannot bear cold winters, but even dug out they lose viability in most cases, since it is difficult to provide adequate conditions for their long-term storage. It is desirable to choose sunny location and ensure enough watering in case of drought, though in pronciple this plant is unpretensious.
The leaves of the plant are considered edible, as well as its flowers, which are sometimes used as food dye. The laxative effect is only characteristic for the tubers. The plant has diuretic and wound-healing properties. The seeds, looking like large black pepper, are thought to be toxic, but even they are used to extract dyes and in cosmetology.