Plant ID forum: Small succulent shrub in Florida

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Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plant and/or Seed Trader Xeriscape Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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rattlebox
Mar 6, 2014 9:45 AM CST
I suspect this may be a Florida wildflower since the people that previously owned the property were clearly not into plants. A mostly wooded property with only a couple big boxstore hibiscus next to the house for landscaping. Yet, I've lived here for 20 years and have never seen it anywhere else.

It was growing next to a large oak tree in full shade, yet when the tree had to be removed it grew in full sun.

Less then 3' tall, nearly as wide, succulent non-woody stems, star-shaped pink flowers in clusters. (The single flower in the photo is on a plant started from a cutting.) Killed back by a freeze, but comes back from the base, otherwise evergreen (with adequate winter watering). Starts readily from cuttings and there are volunteer seedlings though never weedy. Notice the tiny notch in the tip of the leaves. This is normal. Drought tolerant but the longer the drought the worse it looks. Bounces back again with water.

I have done multiple internet searches over the years but have never been able to find an ID.








[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Mar 6, 2014 9:47 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

The leaves immediately made me think of Jewels of Opar (Talinum paniculatum)
Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plant and/or Seed Trader Xeriscape Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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rattlebox
Mar 6, 2014 10:28 AM CST
We're getting close!

Now if we could just agree what plant is Talinum paniculatum. A google search reveals two very different plants with that name. See photos attached.
Thumb of 2014-03-06/rattlebox/cc0a97


Thumb of 2014-03-06/rattlebox/1f2eff

[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Mar 6, 2014 10:34 AM CST
Talinum fruticosum: http://www.google.com/search?q=talinum+fruticosum&tbm=isch&t...

edited to add: Not native to Florida but found in a few counties:

http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=1873

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talinum_fruticosum
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
[Last edited by plantladylin - Mar 6, 2014 10:36 AM (+)]
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Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plant and/or Seed Trader Xeriscape Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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rattlebox
Mar 6, 2014 12:38 PM CST
Definitely not Talinum paniculatum as listed in the All Things Plants and Dave's Garden databases, but further research on the genus turns up Talinum fruticosum which seems consistently to look like the right plant.

I'll keep researching the genus Talinum (these two plants are so different, hard to figure them being the same genus).

If anyone has a better ID I'd appreciate it.

Thank's Dave Thank You! for your reply. I had considered Jewels of Opar before, but when I looked more closely, it was definitely not the right plant. I didn't realize that two very different plants were being called by that name until looking more closely after your reply, so you put me on the right path.

Still trying to understand how this plant ended up on this drearily under-landscaped wooded acreage plot in the countryside outside of Naples Fl. Blinking Does not compute!


Thanks again!
[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett
Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plant and/or Seed Trader Xeriscape Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
Image
rattlebox
Mar 6, 2014 1:01 PM CST
Thanks plantladylin for your reply.

I had not seen the Florida Plant Atlas site, but had seen the Wikipedia listing. The flower spike on Wikipedia is tall and narrow, not what I have seen, and the flower photos on the Florida Plant Atlas show much wider petals than on mine. Other pics of Talinum fruticosum I have just seen look like mine, with flowers in more confined clusters and more star-shaped than disk-shaped. So the other aspects may just be variation within the species.

That the plant has occasional populations around Florida gives the possibility that bird droppings brought the plant to this property.

Thanks again! So glad I posted on this site!
[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett
[Last edited by rattlebox - Mar 6, 2014 1:39 PM (+)]
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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greene
Mar 6, 2014 1:21 PM CST
And just like the T. paniculatum, yours has edible leaves.
(Okay, now I want some seeds!)
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plant and/or Seed Trader Xeriscape Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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rattlebox
Mar 6, 2014 2:09 PM CST
Once they get going this season, I'll be happy to save you some seed. I'm also curious to taste it now I know the plant is edible.

I've always liked the plant and have been glad it has been a persistent survivor with total neglect. In the past few years I have considered it a permanent part of my landscape. If it tastes good, I'll have to expand it's presence in my yard!
[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Mar 6, 2014 3:47 PM CST
Thanks, I look forward to that time. I'll send you some seeds in exchange.
The flavor is not strong. Young leaves are eaten raw, older leaves cook as for spinach.
The plant has so many common names; here is one link for a recipe suggestion.
http://healthyeats.casaveneracion.com/cucumber-and-talinum-s...
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"

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