Portulaca grandiflora

Common Name: rose moss 
Type: Annual
Family: Portulacaceae
Native Range: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay
Zone: 2 to 11
Height: 0.25 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to frost
Bloom Description: Red, rose, orange, yellow or white
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil


Annual. Easily grown in poor to average, dry to moderately moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Drought tolerant. Sow seed directly in the garden after last frost date, or start indoors 6-8 weeks earlier. Set out seedlings and purchased plants at last frost date. Plants may self-seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Portulaca grandiflora is commonly called moss rose, which is quite descriptive of this plant’s key ornamental features: ruffled, rose-like flowers (to 1” diameter) appearing on prostrate to slightly ascending stems that form a moss-like foliage mat. This annual is a succulent that typically grows to 6-8” tall and spreads to 12” wide or more. Flowers bloom summer to frost and come in single, semi-double or double forms in colors including red, rose, orange, yellow, white and pastel shades thereof. Flowers do not open on cloudy or rainy days. Cylindrical, fleshy, medium green leaves (to 1” long) appear in clusters along reddish stems.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for P. oleracea.

Specific epithet means large-flowered.


No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for aphids. Crown rot may occur in poorly-drained soils.


Good for poor dry soils where many other plants struggle. Edging or ground cover for beds, rock gardens or along walks. Containers, hanging baskets. Sprawl over stone walls.