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.
P. grandiflora thrives in high temperatures and 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.
From South America. Grows to 6 in. high and 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 and 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 double-flowered strains. Afternoon Delight and Sundance strains stay open longer in the afternoon. Sunseeker strain also resists closing and has larger (2 in.), double blossoms. All self-sow, but they often fail to come true from seed.
From Australia. Grows to 2–3 ft. tall and 1 ft. wide, with strap-like, 2–5-in.-long, mediu...
Native to North Africa. Grows 1–1 1/2 ft. tall and wide; rather sprawling. Light green leaves. N...
Fast-growing, bushy plant from the Cape region of South Africa. Grows to 15 in. high and wide, with ve...