Talinum paniculatum (PORTULACACEAE) Pink Baby-Breath, Jewels of Opar

Weeds to Whack

Talinum paniculatum Jewels of Opar is a succulent subshrub native to North America and Central America. It bears tuberous roots and panicles of flowers. Plants to 15 cm in moist to most habitats. Native of southern-western United States, Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America. Introduced in southern Africa, southern Asia and Australia. Weedy in the United States east of the Mississippi. Stems sometimes reddish, slender. Leaves to 12 cm, reduced abruptly beneath inflorescence; blade elliptic to obovate, base attenuate.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Flowers, Fruit

Flowers and fruits in summer. Inflorescences paniculate, sometimes nodding. Flowers have sepals deciduous, sometimes reflexed, ovate to suborbiculate, 2-4 mm; petals red or pink, sometimes orangish, yellowish, or purplish, ovate to suborbiculate, 3-6 mm; stamens ca. 15-20; stigmas 3, linear; pedicel terete, ± uniformly slender, to 20 mm. Capsules subglobose, sometimes obtusely trigonous, 3-5 mm, exocarp and endocarp usually separating after dehiscence; endocarp valves persistent, remaining connate at apex, attached to receptacle by vascular strands from capsule apex; exocarp dehiscing from apex, valves deciduous ± separately. 2n = 24. 
Photo: Robert Whyte