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TALINUM paniculatum

Image of Talinum paniculatum

James Burghardt

Family

Portulacaceae

Botanical Name

TALINUM paniculatum

Plant Common Name

Jewels of Opar

General Description

A thrifty, heat-tolerant, tender perennial that bears sparkling clusters of small bright flowers, this native of Central America and southern North America is often grown as an annual in cold-climate gardens. The fleshy tuberous roots give rise to many unbranched, upright, wiry stems with fleshy, oval, medium green leaves that are often bunched in whorls. During the warmth of summer small yellow or red flowers appear at the stem tips in large airy branched clusters. Each flower is short-lived, but collectively they bloom for several weeks. Coppery seedpods follow the flowers.

Grow this sun-loving plant in moist, well-drained, nutrient-poor to average soil. In subtropical climates the plant is evergreen and becomes quite large with a deep brittle taproot, making eradication difficult. In areas with cool winters it goes dormant and resprouts in spring. Use this perennial with caution in the rockery or mixed border, where seedlings can be a problem.

Several cultivars offer colorful leaves and less prolific self-sowing. Try 'Variegata', with green and white foliage and pink flowers; or 'Limon' and 'Kingwood Gold', with chartreuse leaves and coral-pink blossoms.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    South-Central United States, Mexico, Central America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Red

  • Fruit Color

    Light Green, Copper, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes