Seed of the Week: Portulaca or Moss Rose

What were our teeny tiny mystery seeds from two weeks ago?

Those are portulaca or moss rose seeds, Portulaca grandiflora.

Moss rose flowers get their name from the fact they resemble old-fashioned roses. They come in a vibrant assortment of colors.

The plants are also sometimes called moss-rose purslane, and other members of the genus Portulaca are also called purslane. They have similar fleshy, succulent-looking leaves.

Moss roses are originally from South America.

Portulacas are small, hardy annuals that stand up well to dry conditions. The only problem we have with them is that the birds love to eat them.

Have you ever grown portulacas?


  1. Karen

    I just bought some yesterday. I tried growing some from seed earlier this spring, but they never sprouted. I probably didn’t water them enough. 🙁

  2. Roberta

    Hope they do better for you this time.

  3. Annette

    Wow, I wish purslane would bloom like that…. do you know if purslane will flower at all?

  4. Roberta

    There are a number of different species of purslane. If you are talking about the common purslane, Portulaca oleracea, then it will have small yellow flowers. Plant nurseries around here are carrying some cultivated varieties with lovely flowers, especially for those interested in its edible properties.

  5. Travis

    Can you eat them?

  6. Roberta

    A related plant called common purslane or Portulaca oleracea, is considered to be edible. On the other hand, the moss rose, Portulaca grandiflora, is not edible.

  7. Marie

    You have to watch for sparrows devouring your purslane. It was blooming beautifully and now not so much. Even have a bird feeder full of food but they come to the purslane. I finally had to hide it from them.

  8. Roberta

    Must be a treat for them. Thanks for letting us know.

  9. María Lucía

    I finally placed my portulaca on the ground and birds are afraid to be that vulnerable. They are so beautiful in full bloom—birds just love to eat them.

  10. Karin

    I have just found them growing on their own in a shady moist corner of my garden this year! What a joy it’s been to see the different vibrant colours.

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