Portulacaceae is a family of flowering plants, comprising about 20 genera with about 500 species, ranging from herbaceous plants to shrubs. The family has a cosmopolitan distribution, with the highest diversity in semiarid regions of the Southern Hemisphere in Africa, Australia, and South America, but with a few species also extending north into Arctic regions.
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Portulacaceae, the purslane family of flowering plants, in the order Caryophyllales, with about 15 genera and 500 species of herbs or small shrubs, native primarily to the Pacific coast of North America and southern South America. Members of the family have leaves that often are fleshy and sometimes form rosettes at the base of the plant. There are no true petals each flower has two to six sepals that look like petals, and these sepals are enclosed by two green bracteoles that look like sepals. The limits of the lineage that includes Portulacaceae are unclear. Plants previously placed in Didieraceae should be included, and probably also those placed in Basellaceae and Hectorellaceae. Cactaceae may also be part of the same big monophyletic group.
A number of plants in this family are grown for their flowers, including species of the genera Portulaca and Claytonia (C. virginica, spring beauty), while species of the genera Lewisia, Talinum (T. calycinum), and Calandrinia are grown in rock gardens. Plants of the genus Montia are also grown as ornamentals, and the leaves of miner’s lettuces, or winter purslane (M. perfoliata), are edible.
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This very beautiful annual flower, crawling along and spreading out, blooms beautifully with varied and bright colors that range from red to pink and include yellow, white and orange.
Easy to care for, portulaca only requires very little water and even resists droughts and dry spells.
It will be perfect for your rock gardens, along stone walls, and also in garden boxes, pot arrangements and suspended plants.
Very vulnerable to low temperatures, it won’t survive below 40°F (5°C).
Moss rose plants are a popular choice for growing in container gardens, along the front edge of garden bed borders, as edging along paved walkways, in and on top of stone walls, and in rock gardens. In addition, the trailing habit of moss rose works well in hanging baskets. Moreover, moss rose doesn't typically spread outside of its bounds as a ground cover, so it's ideal for a small garden.
These plants will flourish in poor, dry soils where many other plants might struggle, and overwatering or soil that's too wet can actually kill them. They generally require very little maintenance. They typically keep blooming from summer to the first frost of the fall without any deadheading required (removing spent blooms). But you can trim back the plants in mid- to late summer if they start to look lanky to renew their vigor. As annuals, the plants will die at the end of the growing season. But they do produce seeds that might germinate and sprout the following year.