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Portulaca pilosa (Kiss me quick)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Portulaca pilosa

Portulaca pilosa L.

Kiss Me Quick, Chisme

Portulacaceae (Purslane Family)

Synonym(s): Portulaca cyanosperma, Portulaca mundula

USDA Symbol: POPI3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), HI (I), PR (N), VI (I)

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

18 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Fibrous
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Stems prostrate, ascending to sometimes erect, up to about 10 inches long.

Bloom Information

Bloom 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.


USA: 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 Conditions

Water 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.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According 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 1058 Collected Sep 8, 1995 in Comal County by Mary Beth White
NPSOT 1093 Collected August 15, 1996 in Bexar County by Mike Fox

2 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-MM-749 Collected 2010-07-14 in Lampasas County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank

Web Reference

Webref 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 resources

USDA: Find Portulaca pilosa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Portulaca pilosa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Portulaca pilosa


Record Modified: 2023-02-23
Research By: TWC Staff

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