Stems decumbent to prostrate, often tangled in other vegetation, 2-12 dm, herbaceous, puberulent in lines or throughout, glandular or not. Leaves spreading; petiole 0.5-3.5 cm; blade broadly deltate or ovate, 1.5-8 × 1-7.5 cm, fleshy, base cordate, apex usually acute or acuminate (rounded), surfaces glabrous or pubescent, and then often glandular. Inflorescences loosely and narrowly cymose; involucres solitary or clustered at ends of branches, or solitary in axils, 5-9 mm, lobes triangular, base 50-70% of height. Flowers 3 per involucre; perianth purplish to pale pink (white), 0.5-0.9 cm. Fruits olive, dark brown and black-mottled, or evenly black, sometimes faintly marked with 5 shallow grooves, broadly obovoid to nearly spheric, 2.5-3.5 mm, smooth or slightly rugose. 2n = 60.
Flowering spring-fall. Brush or boulders, banks in woodlands, moist areas; 1400-2600 m; Ariz., Colo., Nev., N.Mex., Okla., Tex., Utah; Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León).
FNA 2003, Allred and Ivey 2012, Correll and Johnston 1970
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Perennial herb from a thick, fleshy root; stems ascending to decumbent, 20-120 cm long, forming mounds or tangled in other vegetation; stems puberulent in lines or throughout. Leaves: Opposite, on petioles 5-35 mm long; blade broadly triangular to ovate with a heart-shaped base, 1-8 cm long and almost as wide, fleshy; surfaces glabrous to pubescent or glandular. Flowers: Pink to purple, arranged in loose cymes at branch tips; each small cluster of 3 flowers surrounded by a cup-shaped involucre, 5-9 mm high, with 5 triangular lobes; petals fused into a bell-shape, 5-10 mm high, purplish to pale pink. Fruits: Achenes obovoid to spheric, 3 mm long, olive-colored to dark brown or black, often faintly marked with 5 shallow grooves; containing a single seed. Ecology: Found in brush, among boulders, and on banks of moist areas in woodlands, from 4,500-8,500 ft (1372-2591 m); flowers May-September. Distribution: AZ, NM, s UT, s CO, w TX; south to n MEX. Notes: A much-branched, weak-stemmed plant of moist habitats. The stems range from sticky and viscid to smooth and nearly hairless. The leaves are generally heart-shaped; the flowers are small, less than 2 cm long, and pink to purple; and the fruits are not strongly ribbed, as is the case in several similar Mirabilis spp. Ethnobotany: Used to treat spider bites and dandruff; eaten as greens; used to make a tea. Etymology: Mirabilis is Latin for miraculous or wonderful, alluding to the beauty of the plants; oxybaphoides means resembling Oxybaphus, another genus within the Nyctaginaceae. Synonyms: Allioniella oxybaphoides, Allionia oxybaphoides, Quamoclidion oxybaphoides Editor: SBuckley 2011, AHazelton 2017