Calandrinia Plants are half hardy perennials and annuals. As the perennials have a short life span, they are usually grown as half hardy annuals in the garden.
They are low growing, reaching heights of about 6 to 18 inches (15 to 45 cm), and bloom with hundreds of bright pink and purple flowers from middle to late summer.
Calandrinia ciliata, Red Maids photograph by Joe Decruyenaere, Creative Commons.
Names for Calandrinia include Rock Purslane, Parakeelya and Redmaids. They are ideal for ground cover or as edging plants; they can also be used in rockeries.
Plants are able to grow in very hot conditions.
This genus of herbs contains around 150 species and is a member of the Portulacaceae family. Plants are natives of the Americas and Australasia.
Some of the commonly grown species belonging to this plant genus, and the countries to which they are native are given below:
As a member of the 20 genus containing Portulacaceae family of plants, Calandrinia are closely related to species such as Pussypaws (Cistanthe), Bitteroot (Lewisia), Purslane (Portulaca) and Fameflower (Talinum).
Calandrinia spectabilis photograph by Daderot, CC.
Calandrinia grandiflora by Sericea
If you plan to grow outdooors from seed then Calandrinia species such as Rock Purslane should be sown at a depth of 3 mm (1/10th inch) after the last frost of spring.
If you prefer to start off Calandrinia as seeds indoors, then they should be started off about eight weeks before they are due to be put out.
They should be sown indoors at a temperature of 13 to 15°C (55 to 59°F), and should take from one to two weeks to germinate.
The seedlings of Calandrinia should be planted out with a spacing of about 20 cm (8 inches) following the last possible frost of spring.
Plant into an area that receives plenty of sun, and has a gritty or sandy soil.
Calandrinia Care: These plants are very easy to care for as they can tolerate prolonged dry periods. They do not like too much water, especially in the winter.
Plants are able to be grown as a short lived perennial in warm regions (e.g. Zones 9 and 10 in the USA; Australia), but should be grown as annuals elsewhere. Propagate by taking cuttings, or allow plants to self seed in situ.
Calandrinia ciliata – Redmaids
Calandrinia ciliata photograph by Native orchids.
These perennials are short lived and should be treated as an annual in all but the warmest of areas.
In the USA they are able to grow successfully in zones 7 through 10.
They make idea plants for a rockery, and come into flower in the from the middle of summer through to the start of Autumn, with bright magenta colored flowers.
They should be spaced at about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) apart, and can reach heights of around one to one and a half feet (30 to 45 cm).
These plants are an ideal low maintenance plant as they are drought tolerant and do not require an application of fertilizer; ideally they should be grown in an area of the garden that requires exposure to full sunlight.
Calandrinia umbellata - Rock Purslane
Calandrinia umbellata (Rock Purslane), photograph by Biodiversity Heritage Library; CC.
For best results grow in sandy or gritty soils that are of pH 5 to 6; though they will survive in other conditions they will not thrive as much.
Plants are drought tolerant and like to grow in full sunlight; Rock Purslane is able to grow at very high temperatures.
Plants are low growing (6 inches / 15 cm) and have a prostrate nature. Ideally space plants about 6 inches (15 cm apart). They carry pink or purple flowers from the middle of summer.