Portulaca pilosa L.
Kiss Me Quick, Chisme
Portulacaceae (Purslane Family)
Synonym(s): Portulaca cyanosperma, Portulaca mundula
USDA Symbol: POPI3
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. The Latin name, Portulaca, (meaning, little gate) describes the lid on the fruit capsule.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual
Root Type: Fibrous
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Stems prostrate, ascending to sometimes erect, up to about 10 inches long.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov , Dec
Bloom Notes: Flowers late spring to early fall in much of range. May flower year-round in southern part of range.
DistributionUSA: 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.
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
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
National Butterfly Center - Mission, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 1093 Collected August 15, 1996 in Bexar County by Mike Fox
NPSOT 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
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Portulaca pilosa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Portulaca pilosa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Portulaca pilosa
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-23
Research By: TWC Staff