Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Portulaca suffrutescens, Shrubby Purslane

Portulaca suffrutescens, Shrubby PurslanePortulaca suffrutescens, Shrubby PurslanePortulaca suffrutescens, Shrubby PurslanePortulaca suffrutescens, Shrubby Purslane

Scientific Name: Portulaca suffrutescens
Common Name: Shrubby Purslane
Also Called:
Family: Portulacaceae, Purslane Family
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 12 inches more or less.
Growth Form: Forb/herb, subshrub; taproot tuberous-thickened, stems subshrub; stiffly erect or ascending, plants slightly woody (suffrutescent).
Leaves: Green; leaves linear, round (terete), leaves succulent-like.
Flower Color: Orange or copper; showy flowers approximately 1 inch wide; fruit a subglobose capsule.
Flowering Season: July to September, good blooms following heavy monsoon rains.
Elevation: 3,000 to 5,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Rocky slopes, grasslands, roadsides, sandy or gravelly soils along streams.

Recorded Range: Portulaca suffrutescens is relatively rare in the United States where it is native to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The largest populations in the United States are found in the central and southern parts of Arizona. In New Mexico specimens are found in the extreme southwest corner of the state in Hildago and Luna counties and Texas has populations in Jeff Davis and Brewster counties.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Portulaca suffrutescens.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: According to USDA; website, in North America including the United States and Canada, the genus Portulaca contains 19 species and 21 accepted taxa overall. The Plant List, world-wide includes 109 accepted species names for the genus Portulaca.
In Arizona and New Mexico there are 5 species of Portulaca, in California there are 3 species, Texas has 6 species, Nevada and Utah have 2 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

Comments: With 5 species of Portulaca in Arizona, Shrubby Purslane is perhaps one of the most attractive.

Also see in Southwest Desert Flora: Common Purslane, Portulaca oleraceae.

Date Profile Completed: 06/14/2016, updated format 10/02/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 06/14/2016)
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
James F. Matthews, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 4 Page 459, 461, 462 | Portulacaceae | 9. Portulaca suffrutescens Engelmann, Bot. Gaz. 6: 236. 1881., Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. (accessed 06/14/2016).
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet;
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information 06/14/2016).