SCIENTIFIC NAME: Portulaca grandiflora

COMMON NAME: Moss rose, portulaca

FAMILY: Portulacaceae

TYPE: annual, can reseed

LEAVES: prostrate or ascending, loose hairs at joint and among flowers, scattered, terete, 1" or less long, succulent

FLOWER: sepals broad, short acute, petals obovate, more or less notched at the end, single or double, 1" to 2" across, many colors except blue

SEASON OF BLOOM: spring, summer and fall, flowers close in mid-afternoon on cloudy days in older cultivars

GROWTH HABIT: 6" to 8" spreading, prostrate

SOIL: best in well drained, infertile soil, drought tolerant

SUN: full sun, sun and heat tolerant; flowering greatly reduced in shade; flowers will close in the evening

UTILIZATION: excellent for hot dry summers (poor in cold weather so plant in late May or early June); rock garden, groundcover, edging, hanging baskets

DISEASES: none serious but subject to rot in humid, wet summers

INSECTS AND RELATED PESTS: none serious

PROPAGATION: seed

MAINTENANCE: low

CULTIVARS: choose ones that the flowers stay open all afternoon (such as Sundial or Sundance)