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Perennial sea-purslane, Shoreline seapurslane
Sesuvium portulacastrum

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

General Landscape Uses: Groundcover in open, coastal areas.

Ecological Restoration Notes: An important sand stabilizer in the pioneer zone of beach dunes which can tolerate occasional flooding by sea water.

Availability: Native plant nurseries.

Description: Small prostrate herb.

Dimensions: About 3-8 inches in height. Spreading and forming large patches much broader than tal.

Growth Rate: Moderate to fast.

Range: Southeastern United States west to Texas and south to the Monroe County Keys; West Indies, Mexico, Central America, South America and Old World.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Beach dunes and brackish coastal areas.

Soils: Wet to moist, periodically inundated brackish or saline soils, with or without organic or humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: High; tolerates flooding by salt water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Pioneer; grows in unconsolidated substrate in direct salt wind and spray.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Sepals green on the outside, pink to pinkish-purple on the inside.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy. The petals are absent.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Inconspicuous capsule.

Wildlife and Ecology: Nectar plant for Miami blue (Cyclargus thomasi bethunebakeri) butterflies.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed and cuttings.

References: Hammer 2004, Nelson 2003

Comments: The succulent leaves are edible (although very salty) and have been used as a source of vitamin C. See also the Florida Wildflower Foundation's Flower Friday page.

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Florida

Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2012
In habitat, New Providence, Bahamas

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley, 2005
In habitat, Abaco Island, Bahamas

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Jay Horn

Copyright by: Jay Horn

Copyright by: Susan Trammell

Other data on Sesuvium portulacastrum available from:

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