Kiss-Me-Quick

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Kiss-Me-Quick, Portulaca pilosa, is a member of the Portulacacea (Purslane) family. The common name of Kiss-Me-Quick is derived from pilose, which means covered in long soft hairs, which appear in the plant’s leaf axils. Pilosa is a prostrate plant with thick linear leaves about ½” long. Leaves are arranged alternately on the stems. Several reddish stems creep along the ground forming a mat about 1 foot in diameter.

The flowers are fixed at the top of the plant. The flower’s corolla has five red to purple colored petals that are very vibrant. At the center of corolla are several stamens with anthers loaded with yellow pollen. Flowers are about 3/8” in diameter.

Pilosa is found in dry disturbed sites in every county in the State. There are five species in the genus Portulaca. Only three including pilosa are native. I photographed the specimen in the picture alongside a rural road in Hendry County.