Purslane belongs to the genus Portulaca and the family Portulacaceae. There are approximately 40 – 100 species inside the genus, which is made up of short-lived perennial succulents. Several species are well-loved garden ornamentals that are grown as annuals in cooler climates. Most notably is P. grandiflora, which is also called the moss rose.
These Portulaca plants are low-growing and often have a spreading or trailing habit, causing them to be used for ground cover, pathway edging, or as filler! They are heat and drought tolerant so are often found in rock garden schemes or any other low-maintenance outdoor spaces.
Due to their popularity, purslane flowers have been highly cultivated, leading to many lovely cultivars and hybrids! These Portulaca types come in varying heights, though they are always relatively low growing, and can have single, semi-double, and fully double flowers! These flowers are either rose-like, cup-shaped, or starry, and come in pretty shades of white, pink, red, yellow, orange, or can be bi-colored!
They are delightful additions to any garden and are top choices for container planting due to their compact size and ability to withstand adverse conditions and to some degree, a little neglect.
Beautiful Portulaca Varieties You Should Know About
#1 Moss Rose (Portulaca grandiflora)
Portulaca grandiflora, commonly known as the moss rose, is a firm favorite in the Portulaca genus amongst gardeners! It has beautiful rose-like flowers that grow as wide as 1 inch. Each flower has delicately ruffled petals and can be single, semi-double, or fully double. There are numerous cultivars, coming in bright shades of white, pink, red, yellow, and orange!
#2 Margarita Rosita
This delightful purslane cultivar has a mounding, spreading habit that makes it perfect for adding some ground cover! It has blue-green needle-like leaves that lend it to alpine or rock garden displays. Margarita Rosita grows as tall as 12 inches and produces numerous bright pink rose-like flowers. These semi-double flowers grow to 1.5 inches across and fully open to reveal a cluster of orange stamens. This purslane variety is drought and heat tolerant and will thrive even after months of neglect!
#3 Fairytale Cinderella
Fairytale Cinderella, also called “Cindy” is a member of the Fairytale Series, which are known for their central pompom of petals that stand out amongst their flat outer rays. Although these purslane plants are often listed as a P. grandiflora cultivar, members of this series have flat leaves more typical of common purslane, P. oleracea. Fairytale Cinderella is low growing only reaching a maximum height of 6 inches. Its outer rays are bright yellow and its inner pompom of narrow petals are bright yellow edged with orange or orange-pink.
#4 Fairytale Sleeping Beauty
This purslane flower has bright yellow outer rays and a bright yellow central pincushion. It is a low-growing variety with flat, green leaves that contrast nicely with its vivid flowers. Use it as edging for pathways or for adding a splash of colour into container gardens! Pair it with blue ageratums and pink zinnias for a colorful container display.
#5 Fairytale Snow White
Fairytale Snow White is another breathtaking member of the Fairytale series. This low-growing plant only reaches 6 inches high, making it a top choice for edging pathways, at the front of borders, or for container gardens with limited space. It has pure white outer rays and a pure white tuft of narrow inner petals. Its delicate coloration makes it wonderful in a cottage-style garden alongside other pink purslane plants.
#6 Happy Hour Deep Red
A member of the Happy Hour Series, Happy Hour Deep Red is a wonderfully bold purslane flower! It has fully-double, bright red flowers that begin blooming from late spring to early summer. These rose-like flowers really stand out amongst their green foliage, and would look stunning lining a garden pathway or growing in the crevices of a stone garden wall!
#7 Happy Trails Deep Red
Happy Trails Deep Red is one of the many varieties in the Happy Trails Series! It is low growing, reaching a maximum of 9 inches, and has a spreading habit. Members of this group also have the shortest photoperiods of any cultivars on the market, meaning they open for much longer than other purslane varieties! This purslane flower is semi-double, with bold red petals that overlap each other to form a rose-like flower.
#8 Happy Trails Fuchsia
Happy Trails Fuchsia has a long blooming season from summer to fall and produces vivid fuchsia-pink semi-double flowers. This purslane grows between 6 and 9 inches and has a trailing habit making it a good choice for adding some ground cover. Plant it in gardens to add some bold color that will brighten up any outdoor space!
#9 Happy Trails Pink
Growing up to 9 inches high with a maximum spread of over three times its height at 18 inches wide, this trailing purslane plant is fantastic for hanging baskets! It has delicate raspberry pink flowers and deep orange central stamens. Its overlapping petals have a paper-like look to them adding to the daintiness of this cultivar! Plant it in an informal, container, or cottage-style garden.
#10 Happy Trails Yellow
Happy Trails Yellow, like the rest of the series, is a low grower with a spreading/trailing habit. It has sunshine yellow, semi-double flowers, paired with bright orange central stamens. Its compactness makes it a wonderful choice for growing in containers in patios, city gardens, or balconies. Plant it together with other Happy Trails purslane plants in different colors for a sunny and colorful display!
#11 Samba Pink
Samba Pink is a delightful bi-colored P. grandiflora cultivar! Unlike the majority of moss rose flowers, these purslane flowers are single and cup-shaped, with pure white petals kissed with soft pink. Its delicate coloration means Samba Pink would look at home in a cottage-style or informal garden.
#12 Sundial Peach
Sundial Peach has a truly unique flower color! This purslane plant has 2-inch semi-double flowers with gently fringed petal edges. They are a beautiful peach color which when paired with its chiffon-like petals gives this purslane cultivar a delicate air. Plant it en masse along a sunny border front or grow it in a large container where it can tumble gracefully over the container edge! Sundial Peach is low-growing at only 5 inches high, so it is a great choice for ground cover.
#13 Sundial Peppermint
Another member of the Sundial Series, Sundial Peppermint is a unique bi-colored purslane flower that will be sure to catch people’s eyes! It grows between 6 and 8 inches tall, with a final spread of 14 to 16 inches. This heat and drought tolerant variety will attract butterflies into the garden with its bold semi-double pink flowers that are raspberry pink streaked with bright pink!
#14 Sunseeker Light Pink
Sunseeker Light Pink is a part of the Sunseeker Series. It is a compact purslane variety that reaches a maximum height of 8 inches. It has fully-double raspberry pink flowers with petals that have a chiffon paper-like quality. It is wonderful as a bedding plant, with flowers that remain open even in low light conditions!
#15 Sunseeker Orange
This eye-catching purslane plant has fully-double vibrant orange flowers with contrasting golden-yellow stamens. It is low-growing at 8 inches tall, and is noted for its continuous flowering at the center of the plants! Its vividly colored flowers make this cultivar a great choice for brightening up gloomy patios or city gardens.
#16 Sunseeker Red
Sunseeker Red has beautiful red fully-double blooms. Its chiffon paper-like stamens give this purslane a wonderful delicate quality. It would look lovely in either a cottage-style or rock garden. These pretty flowers will stay open even under low light conditions and would look stunning planted en masse either alone, or alongside other Sunseeker Series members!
#17 Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
Portulaca oleracea or common purslane is a lovely little purslane flower that has value outside of being a garden ornamental! It is widely used as fodder, as a food crop, or for its medicinal purposes. Traditionally, this plant has been used in ointments to treat wounds such as burns! Common purslane has tiny, starry blooms that only grow as wide as 0.25 inches across and are a pretty yellow color! These flowers emerge in spring and last through to fall.
Cherry is a lovely P. oleracea variety that is compact and low-growing with a final spread of around 1 foot. It has small, 1-1.5-inch blooms that are cup-shaped, hot pink, and stand out against its dark green foliage below. This purslane variety is perfect for mass plantings in rock gardens or along garden pathways!
Duet is a wonderful purslane specimen for hanging baskets and window boxes. It has curious bi-colored flowers that are starry, with scarlet petals that are edged with golden yellow! It is relatively low growing with a final height of 10 inches, but will spread/trail up to 20 inches long! Duet should be grown under full sun and would look great as a standalone plant where its eye-catching single blooms can steal the show.
This purslane variety is both heat and drought tolerant. It has single, cup-shaped flowers that are present over spring, summer, and fall! These flowers grow between 1 and 1.5 inches wide and have lemon yellow petals with slightly darker bases. Plant it along sunny beds and borders or in rock gardens! Lemon grows between 4 and 8 inches tall with a spread of 10 to 14 inches.
#21 Pink Ice
Pink Ice is an extremely pretty common purslane variety that deserves a spot in any cottage-style or informal planting scheme. Its 1-1.5-inch single flowers are a delicate pale pink adorned with sunny yellow centers. These flowers accompanied by their rich green foliage would look sensational tumbling over a container edge or falling gracefully over a stone wall!
#22 Rio Apricot
Part of the Rio Series, Rio Apricot has single flowers made up of 5 overlapping, apricot petals. These flowers grow between 1.5 and 2 wide. This purslane variety usually grows 4-6 inches tall lending it as ground cover in rock, cottage-style, and informal gardens.
#23 Rio Rose
Rio Rose is a beautiful purslane cultivar with pale rose-pink flowers that grow as wide as 2 inches! They are cup-shaped and single, standing out amongst the green, ovate foliage. This purslane variety is low growing and only grows as tall as 6 inches, however, its final spread can be as wide as 12 inches!
#24 Rio Scarlet
Rio Scarlet has a low-growing, spreading habit that lends it for ground cover, container planting, and hanging baskets! It is a part of the Rio Series, and looks amazing as a standalone plant or planted en masse with other Rio members. It has cup-shaped scarlet flowers that have 5 overlapping petals and golden yellow centers.
#25 Tequila Sunrise
This purslane plant has unique flowers that are sure to catch the attention of everyone in the garden! They are single, cup-shaped, and grow to a maximum of 1.5 inches across. This variety in the right conditions is a prolific bloomer producing masses of hot pink flowers with yellow bases and fiery orange centers. Planted in large groups, it will produce a dazzling effect in the garden!
#26 Wingpod Purslane (Portulaca umbraticola)
Portulaca umbraticola is commonly referred to as wingpod purslane. This fantastic species has delicate cup-shaped blooms that come in a myriad of eye-catching shades! Its blooms can be single or double and are either white, pink, red, yellow, orange, or bi-colored!
#27 Mojave Pink
A part of the Mojave series, Mojave Pink has a wonderful trailing habit that lends this purslane cultivar for hanging baskets, window boxes, and containers! It is compact with a final height between 4 and 8 inches and a spread of 16 inches. Its cup-shaped blooms are vivid raspberry pink with contrasting yellow bases and yellow centers.
#28 Mojave Tangerine
This stunning wingpod purslane cultivar has vividly colored flowers that look incredible when planted en masse along pathway edges, or accompanied by other brightly colored members of the Mojave group! Its cup-shaped blooms have tangerine orange petals and sunshine yellow bases and centers. They bloom all summer long and are heat and drought tolerant!
Missouri Botanical Garden, Portulaca grandiflora
Missouri Botanical Garden, Portulaca oleracea RIO SERIES
Sakata Ornamentals Europe, Culture Guide Portulaca oleracea Duet
TTU Plant Resources, Wingpod Purslane
Wisconsin Horticulture, Moss Rose, Portulaca grandiflora https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/moss-rose-portulaca-grandiflora/
NC State Extension, Portulaca oleracea