Redstem Purslane

(Portulaca amilis)



Once again at dawn on a peaceful Sunday morning out in the mangroves I awoke to find beside my tent a little wildflower bearing a bright blossom that hadn't been open when I'd gone to sleep. The plant was only about 2-1/3 inches tall (6cm) but the yellow blossom was about the size of a fingernail, looking large on such a small plant. At the top of this page you can see it in very thin soil atop limestone.With such a conspicuous, yellow blossom and succulent leaves, it looks very much like a purslane, but the only purslane I've seen here has been the one that's so good to eat cooked, but it has flat leaves. Maybe this was a narrow-leaved purslane species -- another member of the genus Portulaca. Looking for more Portulaca credentials, I saw that the flower bore many stamens from which a single style atop the ovary branched at its top into several curved stigmas -- exactly as in Portulaca flowers -- as shown below:

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
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