Desert Horse-purslane

Trianthema portulacastrum

Photo © Left by Michael Plagens

Photographed in Phoenix, Arizona, USA in 12 Sept 2007. This photo is also hosted at Wikimedia where there are additional images of showy Aizoaceae.

Photo © Mike Plagens

The fruit is a capsule with a two-lobed crest.
The ruler is scaled in millimeters.

SUMMER ANNUAL: Fleshy, succulent stems grow nearly prostrate on the soil spreading out up to a meter or more depending on available water.

RANGE: A cosmopolitan plant growing usually as a weed in warm, irrigated desert regions; it is considered native to North America.

LEAVES: Opposite on the stems with one leaf of each pair considerably larger than the other.

FLOWERS: Small purple-pink flowers open ephemerally in the morning.

FRUIT: The capsules sport a bi-lobed crest and contain several seeds.


Aizoaceae - Carpetweed Family

More Info:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 19 Sept. 2007,
updated 27 Aug. 2022.