Small'S Purslane

(Portulaca smallii)



Portulaca smallii (Small-s Purslane) is a rare, protected plant, endemic to the thin soils of granite flatrocks and outcrops in the Piedmont regions of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina (a single site) and Georgia. The Mitchell Mill State Natural Area contains the largest granitic flatrock community in North Carolina, and Portulaca smallii is present there, scattered through much of the flatrocks. At Mitchell Mill, P. smallii is found only in a restricted zone, in thin soil between the open rock and the deeper soils and background vegetation behind it. In other sites, it has been reported to colonize nearby fields and disturbed areas, but this has not been seen at Mitchell Mill.P. smallii is a succulent summer annual, a member of the large Purslane family, the Portulacaceae. The photo below is of an aggregation of plants as they would appear to a passer by. Notice the close proximity to the exposed rock and the thinness of the soil.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
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