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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.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

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.

Comments: The succulent leaves are edible (although very salty) and have been used as a source of vitamin C.

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: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Susan Trammell

Other data on Sesuvium portulacastrum available from:

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