This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(J. L. Calandrini, Genevan botanist, who wrote an important thesis in 1734). Portulacaceae. Fleshy, spreading or nearly trailing plants, sometimes cult, in borders and rockeries, or used for edgings in sunny places.
Flowers red or pink or rose-color, of short duration; petals 3-7; sepals 2; stamens 5 (or 3) to 12; style with 3 branches: leaves alternate, narrow. - About 60 species, Brit. Col. to S. Amer. and in Austral. Annuals and perennials, but the latter mostly treated as annuals; not much grown in gardens.
A. Flowers in a short umbel-like cluster. umbellata, DC. Perennial, 4-6 in.: leaves linear and hairy: flowers in a corymb, or umbel-like terminal cluster, bright crimson. Peru. R.H. 1853:5. - The C. umbellata of gardens is hardy in many parts of the U. S.; in New York it should be planted in a well-sheltered position, or provided with ample protection in winter; sometimes it acts like the biennials, but, as seeds are produced very freely, young seedlings spring up constantly between the old plants, and one does not miss the few which may decay during the second year; the plant forms a very neat, slightly spreading tuft; flowers are produced in many-flowered umbels, terminal, numerous, and large, glowing crimson-magenta, saucer-shaped, very showy. June to Nov. Full exposure to sun, and light sandy soil, are needed to bring out the rare beauty of these plants. The flowers close up when evening comes, like the annual portulacas, but they reopen on the following day. In the sunny sloping part of a rockery, even when quite dry, or among other low plants in a bed or border, they are highly satisfactory. Although perennial, it may also be treated like the annuals, as it flowers the first summer as freely as afterwards.
Can be prop, by cuttings.
aa. Flowers in longer clusters, pedicels often more or less drooping.
Schrad. (C. elegans, Hort.). Perennial, 1-2 1/2 ft.: leaves fleshy, spatulate to obovate, purple beneath, gray-green above, blunt: flowers bright light purple, 2 in. across, with yellow stamens. Chile. B.M. 3357.
Menziesii, Torr. & Gray (C. speciosa, Lindl.). Red Maids. Annual: 3-12 in. high, with green herbage, glabrous, or nearly so: leaves linear, or spatulate-oblanceo-late: flowers rose-red or purple, rather large and long-peduncled (petals 1/2 in. long). Calif., N. B.R. 1598. - Variable. There is a white-flowered variety advertised.
Lindl. Perennial, 1-3 ft.: much like C. discolor, but leaves oval and pointed, narrowed to petiole, green, 4-8 in. long: flowers somewhat smaller, light purple. Chile.
Otto. & Dietr. Perennial, 2 ft.: leaves lance-spatulate or rhomboid, 1 1/2 in- long, somewhat pointed: flowers bright purple, 2 in. across. Chile. - Said to produce seed seldom; prop, by cuttings.
Buridgii, Hort. Annual, 1 ft.: leaves linear-lanceolate, smooth: flowers many, small, copper-rose or brick-red, in leafy clusters. S. Amer.
Griseb. One ft., loosely branched: leaves rather large: flowers and buds rose-colored: fruit orange-yellow, persisting. Argentina.
C. oppositifolia, Wats.=Lewisia oppositifolia.
J. B. Keller. L. H. B.