Portulaca molokiniensis Hobdy
This species is native to Hawaii. It occurs near the seaside on the arid islets of Molokini and Pu'ukoa'e and at Kanhio Bay on Kaho'olawe off the west coast of Maui, growing in sand and loose volcanic scree on steep slopes.
Portulaca molokiniensis is a unique succulent with rounded, pale green leaves closely spaced in 4 rows towards the tips of upright corky stems. It grows up to 18 inches (45 cm) tall, branching profusely at or below the soil line to form a clump up to 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter. Stems are up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) in diameter. Leaves are thick, fleshy, and up to 2 inches (5 cm) long. The small, cup-shaped, yellow flowers appear in clusters at the end of stout stalks that rise above the foliage.
USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Portulacas tolerate many kinds of soil but prefer sandy, well-drained soil and love the full sunlight. These plants are excellent for high heat and drought tolerance and will seed and spread themselves very well. Some control methods may be needed to keep Portulacas from becoming invasive in areas they are not wanted. However, these wonderful plants do spread easily and very well.
These succulents require no attention at all when growing and flowering. However, you should remove them from the garden before Portulacas have a chance to set seeds, as they may take over the garden. You do not need to water often for proper Portulaca care. The cylindrical foliage of the plants retains moisture very well. Thus, regular watering is not needed. When they are watered, just a light watering will do, as their root zone is shallow.
The seeds of Portulacas should be sown on the soil surface following the last frost of spring. Ideally, these plants should be grown in a sunny part of the garden. If starting Portulaca indoors, then start about one and a half months in advance.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Portulaca.
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