Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sea Purslane
Sesuvium portulacastrum

Family: Aizoaceae (ay-zoh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sesuvium (ses-OO-vee-um) (Info)
Species: portulacastrum (port-yoo-luh-KAS-trum) (Info)

7 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Blooms all year


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

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to view:

By Floridian
Thumbnail #1 of Sesuvium portulacastrum by Floridian

By Floridian
Thumbnail #2 of Sesuvium portulacastrum by Floridian

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #3 of Sesuvium portulacastrum by kennedyh

By cactus_lover
Thumbnail #4 of Sesuvium portulacastrum by cactus_lover

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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive barksy On Aug 15, 2005, barksy from Brisbane
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

This plant in my experience does most definitely not require constantly moist soil. It grows in full sun, in sandy poor soil with essentially no care and no irrigation required. Often present in neglected "lawns", cracks in sidewalks, untended commercial landscapes near the shore. Have seen variation in leaf and flower size. Very attractive, delicate, mat forming plant. Could be a useful no care ground cover in difficult areas.

Positive NativePlantFan9 On Jan 3, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Sea Purslane or Shoreline Seapurslane (Sesuvium portulacastrum) is a superb, mat-forming, creeping seaside plant in coastal areas. It helps stabalize shorelines and dunes and is great and very useful for preventing erosion. It is native to the southeastern coastal U.S. from North Carolina south through Florida, the Keys and throughout much of or all of the Caribbean and Bahamas, west along the Gulf coast into Texas and Mexico. It is also found throughout tropical and subtropical shorelines and coastal areas worldwide. It has thin, short, leathery leaves that are edible and reportedly taste crisp and salty and have useful vitamins and minerals in them. It also has attractive, small, somewhat inconspicuous white to purple or pinkish flowers. A very useful, mat-forming, dune-stabalizing native perennial plant for coastal situations from zone 8b in the U.S. south through zone 11 strictly on the coastline and in salty situations such as marshes or mangrove swamps near the coastline! The leaves are leathery and thin. This plant forms a covering mat or creeping, covering vine-like groundcover.

MORE FACTS - Stabalizes coastal dunes and shorelines, preventing erosion. Grows in coastal or salty situations such as coastal dunes, shorelines, coastal dune scrub and coastal sandy scrub, mangrove and lagoon shorelines and salt marshes. Grows well next to or on stone breakwaters and seawalls. Grows in U.S. from zone 8b south through zone 11. Native to the U.S., Mexico, Caribbean, Bahamas and tropical and subtropical shorelines worldwide. The leaves are edible and have valuable vitamins and minerals and a crisp, salty taste. Grows well next to the ocean as well as in salt marshes, lagoon shorelines and mangrove swamps (all salty situations) near the coast. In Florida, found in every coastal county except a few in the northwest half of the state.

Positive Floridian On Dec 29, 2004, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Prostrate, mat forming, herbaceous perennial with opposite, fleshy, red tinged leaves that can be up to 2 inches long and .5 inches wide. The tiny pinkish purple flowers are solitary in the leaf axils and bloom all year. Its natural habitat is tropical and subtropical coastal shorelines throughout the world. Sea Purslane is an important dune stabalizer on many beaches.
Medicinally this plant has been used to treat scurvy, a vitamin C deficiency and is sold in Asia as a vegetable. In the Caribbean, the leaves are pulverized and used to soothe puncture wounds caused by venomous fish.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Atlantic Beach, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Deltona, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
Satellite Beach, Florida

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