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MacFarlane's four o'clock

Photo of MacFarlane's Four O'Clock (NRCS Idaho Plant Materials Program)

Scientific name: Mirabilis macfarlanei 


Critical Habitat: None

Listing: MacFarlane’s four-o’clock was federally listed as endangered in October 1979 (44 FR 61912) and downlisted to threatened in March 1996 (61 FR 10693).  A revised recovery plan for MacFarlane’s four-o’clock was completed in June 2000.  No critical habitat has been designated for this species.  This species occurs in Oregon and Idaho.  The Snake River Fish and Wildlife Office in Boise, Idaho is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's lead field office for this species.

Potential Range Map

  • Description and Life History

    MacFarlane’s four-o’clock is a long-lived herbaceous perennial with a deep-seated, thickened root.  The bright pink flowers are conspicuous, up to one inch long by one inch wide.  The flowers form in clumps of three-to-seven flowers that are about six-to-twelve inches in diameter. The flowers are funnel-shaped with a widely expanding limb.  This species typically blooms from May through June.  Each flower has the potential to produce one fruit and one seed.  Individual plants have been observed to live more than 20 years, based on limited monitoring conducted by the Bureau of Land Management.


    MacFarlane’s four-o’clock occurs in steep river canyon grassland habitats that are characterized by warm and dry conditions.  Sites are generally open, although scattered shrubs may be present, and the soils for this species vary from sandy to talus substrate.  Thirteen populations of MacFarlane’s four-o’clock are currently known in west-central Idaho and northeastern Oregon.  Three of these populations are found in the Snake River Canyon area (Wallowa County, Oregon and Idaho County, Idaho), seven in the Salmon River area (Idaho County, Idaho), and three in the Imnaha River area (Wallowa County, Oregon).

    Reasons for Decline

    The effects of aggressive, invasive, non-native plant species; ungulate grazing; herbicide and pesticide spraying; recreational activities (trampling and off-road vehicles); road maintenance; and natural disturbances (e.g., landslides and floods) have been implicated as current threats and reasons for the decline of MacFarlane’s four-o’clock.

    References and Links

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2000. Revised Recovery Plan for MacFarlane’s Four-o’clock, Mirabilis macfarlanei. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland, OR. 47 pp.


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