Mirabilis L., Sp. Pl. 1: 177. 1753 sec. Le Duc (1995)


A genus with 50-60 American and one Asiatic species. It includes herbs, suffrutescent herbs and subshrubs characterised by the presence of involucres of accrescent bracts, often connate, which surround one or more flowers. Traditionally the genus was classified into six sections; some of them corresponding to previously separated genera. Molecular phylogenetic studies, which have mainly been focused on the North American species support the monophyly of the genus (Levin 2000; Douglas & Manos 2007; P. Hernández-Ledesma & al., unpubl. data) but not the monophyly of the sections (P. Hernández-Ledesma & al., unpubl. data). In order to achieve a natural subgeneric classification the South American species should be included in the sampling.