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Sea Purslane Sesuvium portulacastrum


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Sea Purslane - flower
credit: Sam Fraser-Smith/CCSA

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Alternate name: Shoreline Seapurslane

Family: Aizoaceae, Ice Plant view all from this family

Description Sprawling, multi-branched, perennial herb that grows in coastal areas across much of the planet.
Flowers: 3/4-1" (1 3/4-2 cm) wide pink or purple in 5-pointed star shape; thick, smooth stems up to 3.3' (1 m) long.
Leaves: 1/3-2 1/2" (8-65 mm) long, linear or lanceolate; fleshy, bulbous, pale green, smooth-skinned, edible.
Height: Prostrate, mat-forming, up to 12" (30 cm) high.

Flower Year round.

Habitat Salt marshes, tidal flats, sandy clay and coastal areas including beaches and dunes.

Range Coastal areas from North Carolina south thru Florida, west to Texas and southward into Mexico. Also seen in Pennsylvania, Hawai'i, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Discussion Commonly known as shoreline purslane or "sea purslane", it grows in coastal areas globally. It is native to Africa, Asia, Australia, North American, and South America. Sea Purslane has also been naturalized in many areas where it was not originally found.