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(Portulaca pilosa tuberosa)



The name is derived from pilose, which means to be covered with long soft hairs. Portulaca pilosa is a highly variable species. It exhibits morphological variability during development with the immature plants having a wider, longer and flatter leaves than its mature counterparts. The mature leaves are narrower, shorter and more hemispheric in cross section.Physical differences may also occur due to the variable habitat that this species can be found in. Plants that grow in an arid environment tend to the greatest density of hairs. Plants that grow in a moister environment tend to have less hairs. Plants with very dense hair under a certain condition will produce growth with fewer hairs under a moist condition, showing its variability of growth. Habit is also governed by its habitat. Plants growing in moist, warm environments tend to branch rather quickly into a spreading habit, with a secondary growth which is erect. Plants in dry and cool environment do the opposite in that they grow erect first and then branch more slowly. This type has a more compact habit.Specimens from Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and New Mexico exhibit all morphologic conditions. Those from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma usually tend to occur in shallow, sandy soils, often on rocky outcrops, and are often highly branched, compact, short, and not very pilose (hairy).

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
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