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common name for members of the Nyctaginaceae, a family of plants found in warm climates, especially in the Americas, chiefly as herbs but often in the tropics as shrubs or trees. Species native to the United States are mostly restricted to the southern and Pacific regions, e.g., the sand verbena of the deserts. The four-o'clock, or marvel of Peru (genus Mirabilis), of tropical Asia and America and the woody bougainvilleabougainvillea
or bougainvillaea
[for L. A. de Bougainville], any plant of the genus Bougainvillea of the family Nyctaginaceae (four-o'clock family); chiefly tropical American woody vines with showy petallike bracts, usually in shades of brilliant red or purple.
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 vine with its showy bracts are widely cultivated as garden ornamentals in suitable climates and in greenhouses. Some members of the family are of minor importance medicinally. Four-o'clocks are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Caryophyllales, family Nyctaginaceae.
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