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Rock purslane is a small mounding succulent with thick blue-green foliage that grows to 12 in. high and spreads 2-3 ft. across. Colorful and intense purple-magenta flowers to 2 in. dia. develop on flexible stems from mid to late spring and intermittently into summer.

Native to Chile, Rock purslane belongs to a small group of succulents with colorful flowers and a tolerance for arid conditions. It is the only species commonly found in cultivation in California where it is a popular accent plant in rock gardens and among other succulents. Both foliage and flowers offer a contrasting character to most plants, particularly with its intense purple-magenta flowers.

This is a short-lived perennial that grows well for 2-3 years. It does best in well-drained soils and away from the hottest sun. It flowers best with regular water through the end of spring and less during summer.

Water Needs

Rock purslane is well adapted to all parts of the Inland Empire in sunny exposures with normal winter rains and low amounts of summer irrigation. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains often provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates Rock purslane can grow with varying amounts of water, but is not well adapted to weeks of drought stress.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Succulent
Foliage Character: Succulent, Evergreen
Habit: Spreading, Mounding, Compact
Growth Rate: Short-lived, Moderate
Height: 12 in.
Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Pale green, Blue green
Flower Color: Magenta
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Morning sun, Heat, Filtered or indirect sunlight, Drought, All day sun
Function: Rock gardens, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Near pools and water features, Grouped, Foliage accent plant, Flowering accent plant, Container plant, Borders


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