Mirabilis in Latin means wonderful and Jalapa is a town in Mexico. Mirabilis jalapa is said to have been exported from the Peruvian Andes in 1540. It has become naturalised throughout tropical and warm temperate regions. In cooler temperate regions, it will die back with the first frosts, regrowing in the following spring from the tuberous roots. The plant does best in full sun. The flowers usually open from late afternoon onwards, then producing a strong, sweet-smelling fragrance, hence the first of its common names.
Planted as an ornamental in a large semi-urban yard & garden in the equatorial tropics of northern New Guinea.
Flowers close in the morning before opening in the afternoon (see third photo, top, where some blossoms are beginning to close).