Plant Image
Constellation trail - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Portulaca suffrutescens - shrubby purslane

Other Common Names: copper purlsane
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Portulacaceae

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Constellation trail
Sue Smith
Constellation trail
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Constellation trail
Doug McMillan
Plant - summer
Constellation trail
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: A low, semi-erect fleshy plant with narrow, cylindrical leaves and coppery orange flowers that open in the morning and close by midday.
Identification notes: Conspicuous long white hairs in leaf axils and inflorescense and copper-colored petals distinguish this from other Portulacaceae sp.
Height: 1 foot


Habitat Description: Rocky slopes, flats, grasslands, roadsides, sandy or gravelly soils along streams.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest, Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 3000 - 6900 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Orange, brownish-orange, copper     Shape: Regular in round clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: May - Sep
Description: Blooms spring to late summer. The flowers are up to 1 inch across and have 5 fan-shaped, notch-tipped petals with dark reddish-orange at their base.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves are needle-like, succulent, round in cross-section, and up to 1 inch long. The erect stems are succulent. Stems are hairy at the leaf nodes and in the inflorescences.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Type: Capsule
Seed Notes: Seeds are black with a row of small bumps along one side and sometimes iridescent.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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