The desert wishbone-bush, is a recently redefined species of flowering plant in the four o’clock family known by its scientific name mirabilis laevis, and the alternate common name California four o’clock.
The new definition of mirabilis laevis now includes the wishbone bush, which was formerly formerly known as the mirabilis californica, and several very similar relatives previously classified as separate species and now as varieties.
The desert wishbone-bush falls within the subkingdom of tracheobionta, those being vascular plants and the superdivision of spermatophyta or seed plants. A member of the magnoliophyta or flowering division of plants, mirabilis laevis is listed within the class of magnoliopsida, otherwise referred to as dicotyledons, also known as dicots, meaning that the seed has two embryonic leaves or cotyledons. The mirabilis laevis is classified in the subclass of caryophyllidae and the order of caryophyllales, an order of flowering plants that includes carnations, amaranths, ice plants, beets, and many carnivorous plants.
The desert wishbone-bush is considered a nyctaginaceae or a member of the four o’clock family and the mirabilis L. or four o’clock genus.
This California chaparral plant is native to California and is endemic to California, Arizona, Nevada and northwestern Mexcio.
It inhabits slopes and coastal sage scrub, chaparral and foothill woodland communities.
The flowers are broadly funnel-shaped, one inch across, white to pale pink with a darker pink color near the center, and have rounded, ruffled lobes and up-curved stamens.
The flowers open in the evening and wilt by midmorning. The leaves are green, glandular-hairy, opposite, and oval to kidney-shaped. The stems branch to form green “wishbones” and are hairy, weak, sticky, and ascending to erect.
It is a climber, meaning it can be vine-like. Generally, it is one foot tall to eight feet wide; spreads relatively readily; is summer semi-deciduous, meaning it will go dormant in the summer; and blooms with white, lavender and purple flowers in the winter and spring.
As a shrub in the four o’ clock family, the desert-wishbone bush grows to as much as 30 inches in height, but only with optimum irrigation. The branches of the plant, which form green “wishbones,” give the plant its name. The leaves are green, glandular-hairy, opposite, and oval to kidney-shaped.
Butterflies and moths supported by the desert wishbone-bush include lithariapteryx jubarella; the white-lined sphinx, hyles lineata; the Hawaiian beet webworm, spoladea recurvalis; the somber carpet, disclisioprocta stellata; archirhoe neomexicana; embola powelli; lithariapteryx abroniaeella; and neoheliodines vernius.
From https://cannundrum.blogspot.com, Wikipedia, https://calscape.org/, https://www.fireflyforest.com/flowers