Friday, May 18, 2007

Calandrinia grandiflora

Calandrinia grandiflora, commonly known as Chilean rock purslane, is one of my new favorites in the garden. It's new to me, anyway. Last summer or fall, I spotted it in bloom in one-gallon cans at Emigh Hardware. The fleshy, silvery-grey foliage reminds me of sedum (another fave), but you will be pleasantly surprised by its delicate, clear pink poppy-like flowers, held on nodding wiry stems up to 2 1/2 feet tall.

Despite a few frosts and freezes here in Carmichael this winter, C. grandiflora wintered over nicely up against the southern side of my stucco house. It receives bright, lightly filtered light next to my lath patio cover. According to a Dave's Garden member, it propagates from separated "rootballs" which should callus over for a few days before re-planting. Haven't tried that yet, but I am experimenting with tip cuttings as well. Oh, and you can buy it at Annie's Annuals.

Today's bloom

My plant's foliage with young buds just beginning to emerge

(Photo from Dave's Garden, taken by Dave's Garden member RWhiz)


  1. Anonymous10:58 PM

    HEY! I just "found" that plant, too! Picked it up at Annie's open house. I have it in hot, dry, rocky soil (slightly amended with organic compost). How much water/heat/sun does yours get? Can't wait to see how it does here.

  2. Cool! I just got back from a weekend in Santa Cruz and was excited to see a blooming clump of it in a front yard garden. There, it was out in full sun. So far, mine has been happy with morning sun and filtered afternoon shade. I've been watering it once or twice a week until I get it hooked up to my drip system. It's supposed to be very drought tolerant. As for heat, not sure yet. After a few Valley summers, I'll report back. ;-)

  3. Anonymous2:05 PM

    Santa Cruz: foggy morninggs record high temps?? 88?!!? Let's see: I'm probably the OPPOSITE of that ;-)
    More like Sacto. Yours in filtered pm shade - are you privy to info I don't know about? Mine's out in full sun. I don't need one more plant that loves a.m. sun, p.m. shade...
    I guess we'll both see. It will be put thru the max heat/sun test here. I DID get mine on the drip system - but lots more plants waiting (like NOW) for H2O. Less typing, more irrigation work...

  4. Anonymous6:43 PM

    I live in northern San Diego county about 5 miles from the coast. I planted several of these beautiful plants and enjoyed the
    blooms from late spring through end of summer. I cut back all the long stems but wonder just how much further pruning I should do. We sometimes get temps in the high 30's in winter but not often. The plants are in a courtyard surrounded by brick. I've seen some almost cut back to 3 or 4 inches from the ground. Anyone have a suggetion?

    We love this plant in our sandy soil on the Central Coast of CA, Nipomo. It thrives with little attention. I just break off a piece and stick it in the ground. Its is an agressive grower. Some of the plants get more water than others. My ducks got into some of the well watered areas and began eating it. The ducks seem to leave the drier areas alone but when well watered it becomes more succulent and enticed my ducks to eat a bit. I still love the plant but will now only plant in areas that dont get much water