This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Fleshy glabrous erect or ascending, perennial or annual herbs, with scapose or leafy stems, alternate terete or flat exstipulate leaves (terete and clustered at the base in the following species), and mainly cymose racemose or panicled flowers. Sepals 2, ovate. Petals 5, hypogynous, fugacious. Stamens as many as or more numerous than the petals and adherent to their bases. Ovary many-ovuled; style 3-lobed or 3-cleft. Capsule ovoid, oval or globose, 3-valved. Seeds numerous, borne on a central globose placenta. [Aboriginal name of a Senegal species.]
A genus of about 12 species, all but 1 or 2 natives of America. In addition to the following, about 6 others occur in the western United States. Type species: Portulaca triangularis Jacq.
Flowers 4"-8" broad; sepals deciduous.
Stamens 10-30; capsule globose.
Stigma-lobes very short.
Stigma-lobes about one-third as long as the style.
Stamens only 5; capsule oval.
Flowers 10"-15" broad; sepals persistent.