Tuesday, April 21st, 2015...7:50 am

Finding Mirabilis Jalapa

TheGardenLady received this question from Chitra.

I love to grow plants and enjoy every moment.  I love mirabilis jalapa, the vibrant colors, but I couldn’t get the seeds and plants to buy in New Delhi.Please let me know the names and contact numbers of places to buy the seeds or plants.

Mirabilis Jalapa is a pretty, fragrant flower with the common name in the US of Marvel of Peru because it was said to have originally come from Peru. It is sometimes called the four o’clock flower because it supposedly opens at 4 o’clock on sunny days.

The charming plant with flowers that look, to me, like petunias come in many colors, with different colors on the same plant or different color variations in the flowers or the color can change as the flower matures. This is a flower that has a long history and was a sensation when it reached English gardens. Though TheGardenLady does not know when the plant became popular in India, it must have been a very popular plant in India because Wikipedia gives so many common names for the plant in different parts of India. However, flowers sometimes do go out of favor for a while, so that might be why you are having such difficulty finding it. Here is Wikipedia’s list of Indian names for Mirabilis jalapa which might help you locate the plant if the salespeople do not know the Latin name or the US common names.

  • In Andhra Pradesh it is called chandrakantha&indraganti (Telugu: చ౦దరకా౦త&indraganti).
  • In Kerala it is called naalumani poovu (Malayalam: നാലുമണിപ്പൂ, പതിറ്റടിമുല്ല).
  • In Maharashtra it is called gulabakshi (Marathi: गुलबक्षी).

  • In Assamese it is called godhuli gopal, godhuli meaning “evening”.

  • In Bengali it is called sandhyamaloti (সন্ধ্যামালতি).

  • In Maithili it is called sanjhaa phool as it blooms in evening.

  • In Oriya it is called rangani.

  • In Punjabi it is called sham di sohnap which means evening beauty.

A US company that sells mirabilis jalapa seeds and ships seeds internationally is this.
I would think that you should be able to find this plant in India so I spoke to my young neighbor about your problem. My neighbor  grew up in Kerala in southern India. She told me that the flower is memorialized there in a love song.

Writing from the states, this GardenLady does not know where you can buy the plant or its seeds in India but I can make a few suggestions.  My first suggestion is to go online – in the states Mirabilis jalapa is sold on Amazon and EBay as well as some seed companies.

Some online seed stores that might sell the seeds in India are:

here – my neighbor’s  friend has used this company.

and here and here and here.

While studying in Delhi, my lovely neighbor used to frequent a store in the Cannaught Place area called Joginder Nursery. She  was a student in the mid nineties so she is not sure if they are still in business. Taj nursery in Lodhi Institutional Area is another famous nursery. If they do not sell Mirabilis jalapa ask to speak to their head horticulturist and ask where you can find the seeds or the plant. They may be of help.

And if you cannot find the seeds in India perhaps you can contact someone in England at the Royal Horticultural Society- you may have to join the organization. They could advise you on where to buy the seeds.

Please let the readers of TheGardenLady.org know if you have success finding Mirabilis jalapa.  And if you raise them, we would love to see photos of the flowers in your garden.

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1 Comment

  • I have seen plants of these flowers at some places which were in white or yellow colour. By chance, I found small M. jalapa plants bearing one or two yellow, red, pimk and orange colour flowers in a nursery located in Nilothi Village, near Vikaas Puri, ND. I have planted these in containers. I hope these will grow faster after winter season.

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