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chisme, kiss-me-quick

Small's purslane

Habit Plants annual; roots fibrous to slightly fleshy. Plants annual; roots fibrous.

prostrate, suberect to erect, succulent;

trichomes conspicuous at nodes and in inflorescence;

branches 3–25 cm.

prostrate to suberect, 2–15 cm;

trichomes conspicuous at nodes and in inflorescence.


blades linear to oblong-lanceolate, terete to hemispheric, 5–20 × 1–3 mm, apex acute; involucrelike leaves 6–9.

blades linear to lanceolate, terete to hemispheric, 4–15 × 0.5–3 mm, apex subacute to subobtuse; involucrelike leaves 7–10(–12).


5–12 mm diam.;

petals dark pink to purple, obovate, 3–5(–7) × 1.5–3 mm;

stamens 5–12(–37);

stigmas 3–5(–6).

6–12 mm diam.;

petals medium pink to almost white, oblong-elliptic, 3–5 × 1.5 mm, apex acute;

stamens 8–13;

stigmas 4–5.


ovoid, 1.5–4.3 mm diam.

subglobose, 2–3.5 mm diam.


black or leaden, orbiculate (0.4–)0.5–0.6 mm diam.;

surface cells loosely arranged, short-tuberculate and stellate to rounded-stellate;

tubercles long or absent.

black or leaden, elongate, flattened, 0.6–0.8 mm;

surface cells stellate, tuberculate.


= 8, 16.

= 18.

Portulaca pilosa

Portulaca smallii

Phenology Flowering late spring–early fall, year-round in s Fla. Flowering late spring–early fall.
Habitat Dry soils, beaches, disturbed habitats, roadsides and railroads on limestone, granitic, and sandstone outcrops Shallow sandy soils of granitic outcrops
Elevation 0-2000 m (0-6600 ft) 200-300 m (700-1000 ft)
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Portulaca pilosa is a highly variable species. It exhibits morphologic variability during development, with immature plants having wider (to 4 mm), longer, and flatter leaves than mature specimens. Mature leaves are narrower, shorter, and hemispheric or terete in cross section. The Linnaean drawing of the type specimen may be an immature plant. Morphologic variability also occurs in relation to habitat differences over the large geographic range of this species. Plants growing in dry habitats have the greatest density of hairs; plants growing in moist habitats are less pilose. Plants with very dense hairs on old growth will, under more moist conditions, produce new growth with fewer hairs. Growth habit is also affected by habitat. Plants growing in warm, moist environments tend to branch quickly into a spreading habit, with erect growth following secondarily. Plants in cool, dry habitats grow erect first, then branch more slowly; the plant then has a compact habit. Specimens from Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas exhibit all morphologic conditions. Those from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma usually occur in shallow, sandy soils, often on rocky outcrops, and are often highly branched, compact, short, and not very pilose.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Portulaca smallii has been considered a species of recent origin on granite outcrops. D. J. Cotter and R. B. Platt (1959) suggested that it is derived from P. pilosa, particularly considering the chromosome number of 2n = 16 reported by E. Steiner (1944) equaling that of P. pilosa. J. F. Matthews et al. (1994) examined that population of P. smallii researched by Steiner and found the chromosome number to be 2n = 18. This new determination, along with the lighter petal color, larger seed size, and distinct habitat, separates this species from P. pilosa.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 4, p. 499. FNA vol. 4, p. 500.
Parent taxa Portulacaceae > Portulaca Portulacaceae > Portulaca
Sibling taxa
P. amilis, P. biloba, P. grandiflora, P. halimoides, P. oleracea, P. rubricaulis, P. smallii, P. suffrutescens, P. umbraticola
P. amilis, P. biloba, P. grandiflora, P. halimoides, P. oleracea, P. pilosa, P. rubricaulis, P. suffrutescens, P. umbraticola
Synonyms P. mundula
Name authority Linnaeus: Sp. Pl. 1: 445. (1753) P. Wilson: in N. L. Britton et al., N. Amer. Fl. 21: 335. (1932)
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