June 18, 2017
I read once that many flowering plants we use in our landscapes were once mere weeds found on the side of the road. Purslane is one of those plants that has been of interest to me and has long been regarded by many as a weed, but it can be a nice addition to your landscape. This plant has summer-loving qualities that make the improved selections perfect for many places in your gardens. Purslane is popular because it thrives in our high summer temperatures. Need a good ground cover? Many selections form a dense mat of drought resistant color. This selection is called Cupcake Cherry Baby and is covered with large cherry red flowers all summer. This yellow Pazazz and tangerine Pazazz have a spreading habit providing a carpet of succulent foliage and bright flowers. Purslane Fairy Tale Cinderella is covered with 1-inch yellow petalled flowers with pinkish orange puffball centers. But don’t limit your use of purslane just to open beds. It does great in small patches as well. This pink Purslane brightens the pocket planting of chartreuse creeping jenny and bloody sorrel, growing underneath this tropical sago palm. And finally, because it sprawls and spreads so well, don’t be afraid to try purslane in hanging baskets too. Purslane is a tough summer plant for our Mississippi heat that has become a flowering favorite of mine. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman, and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.