Calandrinia is a plant genus that contains many species of purslane, including the redmaids. The genus was named for Jean Louis Calandrini, an 18th-century Swiss botanist. It includes around 150 species of annual herbs which bear colorful flowers in shades of red to purple and white. Plants of this genus are native to Australia, Chile, and western North America.
Calandrinia are half hardy perennials and annuals. As the perennials have a short life span they are usually grown as half hardy annuals in the garden. They are low growing, reaching heights of about 6 to 18 inches (15 to 45 cm) and bloom with hundreds of bright pink and purple flowers from middle to late summer. Names for Calandrinia include Rock Purslane, Parakeelya and Redmaids. They are ideal, ground cover and edging plants, they can also be used in rockeries. Plants are able to grow in very hot conditions.
Growing Conditions and General Care
Calandrinia plants are very easy to care for as they can tolerate prolonged dry periods. They do not like to much water, especially in the winter. Plants are able to grow as a short lived perennial in warm regions but should be grown as annuals elsewhere. Propagate by taking cuttings or allow plants to self seed in situ.
If you plan to grow outdoors from seed then Calandrinia species should be sown at a depth of 0.1 inch (3 mm) after the last frost of spring. If you prefer to start off Calandrinia as seeds indoors then they should be started off about eight weeks before they are due to be put out.
They should be grown at a temperature of 55 to 59°F (13 to 15°C), and take from one to two weeks to germinate. The seedlings of Calandrinia should be planted out with a spacing of about 8 inches (20 cm) following the last possible frost of spring into an area that receives plenty of sun, and into a gritty or sandy soil.