Coming Soon: Free Book

Coming Soon: Free Book
Planning to give away a book or two!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Moss Roses - Portulaca grandiflora

One of my favorite flowers are moss roses.  You can plant a few in the spring and sprinkle some seed in between and throughout the summer they fill out and every morning they bloom with new flowers.

Photo by Trisha Field
Moss Roses by Pink Petunias
The multiple colors and texture of the leaves make them an excellent boarder for any garden. Today I saw a man walk by with his dog.  He walked back and forth several times.  Then he stopped, took his cell phone and pointing it at the edge of the flower bed took a picture. I can see people driving by and many people find themselves staring and the colorful garden that begins at sidewalk with the moss roses.

Photo by Trisha Field
Moss Roses by Purple and White Petunias
They are an "annual" flower but every bloom that is fertilized by the bees, butterflies and other helpful bugs, produces seeds.  Those hundreds of tiny little seed pods, produce hundreds of miniscule seeds that fall onto the ground and will come up the following year.  The difficulty is that the young plants are so delicate that they easily get pulled out in the early spring weeding. I would say that is a good reason for not weeding but it is more difficult when the weeds are larger. In the center of the picture below you can see three seed pods that have dropped their seeds and many more around it in various stages of drying.
Close up of fallen seed pod
It is absolutely amazing to see that they are so very tiny.  If you were to take a stick pin and poke it through the paper towel, it would be only slightly smaller than the seeds.  The tip of a sharpened pencil would be too big.
Close up of seeds on paper towel
If you haven't tried moss roses at the edge of your garden, next spring pick up a few plants and a packet of seeds.  They are very drought tolerant and full of surprises.

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