Portulaca wightiana Wall. ex Wight & Arn.

First published in Prodr. Fl. Ind. Orient. 1: 356 (1834)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is S. Ethiopia to N. Tanzania, W. Zimbabwe to S. Africa, S. India, Sri Lanka. It is a succulent annual or subshrub and grows primarily in the desert or dry shrubland biome.

Descriptions

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology General Habit
Short-lived perennial forming small clumps, branching mainly above base
Morphology Stem
Stems ± woody at base, with dark bark, to 10 cm long, usually less, to 4 mm thick, occasionally rooting adventitiously from lowermost nodes; internodes shorter than nodal scales at least at base of stem, upper internodes sometimes longer
Morphology Leaves
Involucral leaves 4, similar to stem leaves Leaves opposite, ovate-lanceolate, very fleshy, 3–4(–8) mm long, nodal scales uniformly lanceolate, 3.5–8 mm long, tip acuminate, often hair-like, often very pale brown when young but soon becoming silvery white, often hiding leaves and internodes
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers usually solitary, sessile
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals 2.5–4 x 1.5–2.7 mm, tip hooded
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals 4, yellow, to 5.5 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 4–8(–12)
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Stigma
Stigma 4-lobed
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule subglobose, splitting very near base; operculum rounded, 1.5–2 mm diam., pale straw coloured, thin but ± opaque
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 0.45–0.55 mm long, light brown with slight iridescent sheen; testa cells mostly with distinct central papilla, rarely ± uniformly domed, margins not discernable.
Distribution
N1; C2; S1; Ethiopia, Kenya, N Tanzania, S India, Sri Lanka
Ecology
Altitude range 320–1240 m.
Note
The nodal scales sometimes completely conceal the leaves and stems as in Anacampseros sect. Avonia.
[FSOM]

Portulacaceae, H. Wild. Flora Zambesiaca 1:2. 1961

Morphology General Habit
Perennial branching herb up to 10 cm. tall; roots rather swollen and parsniplike; stems often reddish, c. 2·5 mm. in diam.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves opposite, sessile, fleshy, up to 7 × 2 mm., lanceolate-acuminate, margins somewhat revolute, ± flattened on both sides; stipular hairs whitish, narrowing gradually from a dilated base up to 2 mm. wide to a hair-like apex, somewhat longer than both the leaves and the internodes.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers in terminal clusters of 3–4, sessile, surrounded by four apical leaves and numerous hairs scarcely dilated at the base and 4–7 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals c. 4 × 3 mm., broadly ovate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals 4, yellow, almost free, c. 4 mm. long, subspathulate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 8, 4 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Ovary ovoid; style 4 mm. long with 3 stigma-lobes.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule c. 3 mm. long, ovoid-globose, surrounded by the marcescent corolla, dehiscing horizontally across the middle.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds numerous, c. 0–45 mm. in diam., dark brown, subreniform, somewhat laterally compressed, with concentric lines of minute tubercles.
[FZ]

Sources

  • Flora Zambesiaca

    • Flora Zambesiaca
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of Somalia

    • Flora of Somalia
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    • Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2023. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2022 World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2023. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2022 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0