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Zones A1-A3, 1-45, H1, H2
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Moderate

Portulaca

Portulacaceae
Annuals

Low-growing, fleshy plants. One is called a weed but can be used in cooking and salads. The others are grown for their brilliant flowers, on display from late spring until frost; generally, the blossoms open fully in bright light and close by midafternoon in hot weather.

The various plants described here thrive in high temperatures, intense sunlight. Not fussy about soil. Bright-flowered types are attractive in rock gardens, parking strips, hanging baskets, or as edgings and bank covers; they don’t require deadheading to prolong bloom.

Portulaca grandiflora
Portulaca grandiflora

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Portulaca grandiflora

From South America. To 6 in. high, 1 1/2 ft. across. Trailing, branching reddish stems are set with narrow, cylindrical, pointed leaves to 1 in. long. Inch-wide, lustrous-petaled flowers are shaped like tiny roses, come in white and many bright and pastel shades of red, cerise, rose pink, orange, and yellow. Available as single colors or mixes, in single or

Portulaca oleraceae

Unimproved form is thought to have originated in India; it’s an edible weed with tiny yellowflowers and plump, oval leavesto 1 1/4 in. long. Warm weatherand moisture encourage itsgrowth. Control by hoeing orpulling before it goes to seed;don’t let pulled plants lie about,since they can reroot or ripenseed. Stems and leaves can beadded to salads, soups, sauces; improved garden strains are sold for the vegetable garden.

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