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Marcus, Joseph A.
Portulaca pilosa L.
Chisme, Kiss me quick
USDA Symbol: POPI3
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
A prostrate, fleshy, branching plant with small, pink or purplish flowers at the end of branches with tufts of whitish hairs in the leaf axils.
This low, sprawling, native plant is similar to the Garden Portulaca (P. grandiflora), which also has tufts of hair in the leaf axils but larger flowers to 2 (5 cm) wide. Introduced from South America, it is a popular garden annual which often escapes from cultivation. The Latin name, for little gate, describes the lid on the fruit capsule.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual Habit: Herb Root Type: Fibrous Size Notes:
Less than 6 inches. Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
AL , AR , CO , FL , GA , HI , KS , LA , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NM , NV , OK , SC , TN , TX Native Distribution:
Coastal plain; North Carolina south to Florida; west to Texas. Native Habitat:
Dry, sandy soil; disturbed areas. USDA Native Status: L48(N), HI(I), PR(N), VI(I)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low , Medium Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry , Moist Conditions Comments:
Chisme (Spanish for gossip) spreads like gossip from seed, though easily removed. The low growing annual
fills in nicely around other larger plants and displays attractive fuchsia flowers in the summer. Works well in a rock garden, as a groundcover or in a pot. Needs good drainage.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 1093
Collected August 15, 1996 in Bexar County by Mike FoxNPSOT 1058
Collected Sep 8, 1995 in Comal County by Mary Beth White
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-MM-749
Collected 2010-07-14 in Lampasas County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
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Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff