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Monday, July 16, 2007

PORTULACA (moss rose)

I was recently reading a story my grandma wrote about her life. She tells of how her family moved from the 'old hometown' in Alpena, Michigan where all the aunts, uncles, cousins and her grandma's lived. She said that on the day they left, she took one last walk in her grandma's garden where the fragrance of the sweet peas and other flowers was so delightful. She also mentioned the Portulaca. I hadn't thought of this flower for many years though I had grown it way back in the early sixty's and loved it. This year I bought three plants and am thoroughly enjoying them.

The plants I bought have several different colored blossoms on each plant. I don't remember my others being multi-colored. Maybe this is something new.

Originally from South America, and being introduced to Europe around three-hundred years ago, portulaca is now cultivated throughout the world as a favorite garden annual.

The Europeans loved it for it's many medicinal uses including, teeth grinding, muscle spasms, and for soothing gun powder burns.

It tolerates poor soil, but needs good drainage. It will grow in gravelly places, strawberry jugs, or hanging baskets, growing four to eight inches tall, and is a beautiful ground cover.

By picking off spent blossoms it will produce more. They have single or double flowers, spread out as they grow and come in many colors, including, peach, orange, gold, yellow, pink, rose, red, white, and duets.

There now, go get yourself some portulaca!

Melon with pink stripes

Yes, the flower petals are just as delicate as they look.

This picture isn't as bright as it should be. The flower really is gorgeous.

Here's a little golden beauty trimmed in red.

A nice cluster of lavender pink.

More white

Didn't the Lord make pretty flowers for us to enjoy?



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