Cistanthe Species, Rock Purslane

Cistanthe grandiflora

Family: Montiaceae
Genus: Cistanthe (sis-TAN-thee) (Info)
Species: grandiflora (gran-dih-FLOR-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Calandrinia grandiflora
Synonym:Claytonia grandiflora
View this plant in a garden



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Foliage Color:



12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Magenta (pink-purple)

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:



Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Albany, California

Brentwood, California

Camarillo, California

Carmichael, California

Culver City, California

Encinitas, California

Eureka, California

Fremont, California

Hayward, California

Lemoore, California

Lemoore Station, California

Long Beach, California

Los Altos, California

Martinez, California

Menlo Park, California

Mountain View, California

Newbury Park, California

Oakland, California

Oceanside, California

Pebble Beach, California

Pleasant Hill, California

Riverside, California

San Diego, California

San Francisco, California(2 reports)

San Jose, California

San Leandro, California

Spring Valley, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Vista, California(9 reports)

Yorba Linda, California

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

New Orleans, Louisiana

Richmond, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 22, 2020, mathdrew from Newbury Park, CA wrote:

This is a super hardy succulent with the gorgeous tall pink blossoms. I live right on the Thousand Oaks/Newbury Park borderline ... and these plants line both sides of my driveway and look pretty stunning when they are in full bloom. I simply planted clippings taken from another city's medians (where I received permission to take clippings for propagation). And now my plants can also have clippings taken from them to keep expanding this pink wave of Rock Purslane ("Cisanthe grandiflora"). I would highly recommend this plant to ANYONE who likes these flowers and who needs an easy plant to grow!!!


On May 19, 2019, ellenfountain from Tucson, AZ wrote:

LOVE this plant! I bought a 1-gallon from a local nursery last spring, and it just took off. It didn't even blink at our 18 degree low or any of the other freezing nights this past winter here in Tucson (Arizona).

It is in a large 18" diameter pot, under a desert willow tree where it gets filtered sun in the summer, and full sun in the winter when the willow drops its leaves. In the first year, it has completely filled the pot from edge to edge. It started blooming in March and has not stopped yet. I just cut off several pieces and have started them in other places in my yard (in ground, using mostly sand and cactus blend potting soil mix).


On May 13, 2019, 3acreDave from Albany, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Its growth habit makes many, many "branches" from a single "trunk", so it has effectively kept down a lot of weeds. I'm hoping I can put down cardboard all around the trunk and keep even more weeds down.

But keep it away from sprinkler fixtures or other things that are flat on the ground. Those many arms will cover it so effectively it can be forgotten.

I also agree with BAT: more sun, longer blooming. One patch here gets full sun nearly all day and blooms probably 8 months.


On Apr 19, 2018, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Very easy and a fast grower. Only,getting the best blooms you need full sun all day,the less of that,the less blooms. Also,in part sun it will bloom in spring and then pretty much stop..even as the foliage grows at light speed.
Sun,sun,sun for success.


On Sep 7, 2017, miho from auburn,
United States wrote:

Planted it in a mixture of sand and gravel. Made in thru 20 degrees @ night, and 55 inches of rain here. Needs good drainage. Took off in the Spring. Give it room to spread, don't try to cramp it. Supplier said it was hardy to 15 degrees.


On May 18, 2017, shirlslaw from Hewitt, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I also live in Central Texas and had pretty much the same experience....twice. The first time I purchased a gorgeous hanging basket and hung it over my porch. I blamed the wind when all of the blossoms eventually turned brown and fell off. The second attempt was the following Spring. I purchased several plants and put them in a sunny flowerbed with pretty much the same result. We were in the middle of a drought both years. Maybe I will try again this year; third time's a charm!


On May 17, 2017, halcyonbird from Kingsland, TX wrote:

Does this plant bloom over a long period of time, or rebloom throughout the Spring-Summer-Fall? I bought one, in full bloom and it was glorious. The next time I looked it had not one bloom on it, although it still had all the plant parts, so no likely it was bitten off by something..just all the petals were gone. Was hoping someone would report back, or tell me to wait for it to rebloom? If so will it reset blooms this season (it is mid May in Central Texas now).

Thank you for any information!


On Jan 26, 2017, Mildcat from Escondido, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I got a Calandrinia (aka Cistanthe) cutting from a friend. It rooted easily and I planted it in my succulent bed. After a few months it was galloping in all directions and threatening to take over the entire large bed. I tore the whole thing out and stuck a few stems into two half-barrel planters, where it has flourished. The lush gray-green foliage drapes beautifully over and down the sides of the pots, and the dainty purple cistus-like flowers on vertical stems form a floating mass above. I throw a bucket of water over them from time to time in the summer, and cut back the stems that are aiming to root themselves in the soil around the half-barrels, but that's pretty much all the care it needs. I root several cuttings a year to give away. We're about 15 miles from the coast in South... read more


On Sep 10, 2016, friscochase from San Francisco, CA wrote:

This plant has been heavily used in San Francisco but after two years of spectacular growth and flowering, the plants are dying out quite dramatically throughout much of the city. It was listed as disease and pest free but something is going on and it doesn't seem to matter whether it was planted near the coast or in a sunny area. The leaves turn a yellow to pinkish color then die, the plant then succumbs quickly. The majority are planted in open areas, little to no water, good air circulation, full sun, great drainage (sandy soils mostly.) Any suggestions?


On Jan 23, 2015, poeciliopsis from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Central Phoenix -- I have variable luck with Calandrinia spectabilis. But it is so lovely I don't mind growing it as an annual. It is easily rooted from cuttings. I often lose it to summer heat but it survives winter, including this winter's freeze of 26F. I grow it in partial shade, and it seems to want more sun, but a plant I tried in half day sun did not survive.


On Sep 26, 2014, jroberts123 from Jackson, CA wrote:

I love this plant. So beautiful and whimsical with its continuous magenta blooms. The rosettes at the base doubled in number from spring to summer. My only problem has been the deer. They did not bother the plants until late August and they ate them down to the stems. Luckily, leaves are forming along the stem, but I will definitely find a safer place - away from the deer, or plant lavender in front as a deterrent.


On Jul 20, 2012, Susi_So_Callif from Vista, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

This plant is wonderful - carefree and quick to multiply. I believe it is the same plant identified elsewhere as Calandrinia spectabilis.


On Dec 8, 2011, boomboer from Cape Town,
South Africa wrote:

What a nice addition to any garden - the magenta pink poppy-ish flowers float over a thick carpet of bluegreen echeveria-like foliage down below.
A word of warning - when Calandrinia is happy - it simply explodes in growth! A plant with one rosette can grow to a clump with 30+ rosettes, 2 to 3 feet in diameter in a single spring and summer...
Growth can be curbed by limiting water, but it responds well to pruning also and you can root the cuttings and give to friends and family - spread the joy.


On Sep 21, 2011, diaph from Culver City, CA wrote:

This is a fantastic plant. It is easily propagated from cuttings. My one cutting stuck in a big planter last fall became the photo uploaded here by July. It gets West sun and have only watered it once all summer (but it's been a cool summer in Culver City, CA).


On Jan 17, 2010, annlof from Camarillo, CA wrote:

For people who live in dry, cool climates like coastal California, this plant is a real winner. I can't see why it isn't planted more often! The succulent blue-green foliage is very attractive at all times, and the purple-magenta flowers seem to float above the plant for months on end. Don't deadhead! Each stem keeps producing flowers for many weeks. Calandrinias need cool summers and excellent drainage, lots of sun and little water. This site recommends spacing 12 inches apart but my plants quickly grew to 2-3 feet wide. Pruned branch tips root easily in moist sand.


On Feb 9, 2005, Ursula from Santiago,
Chile (Zone 9b) wrote:

This Chilean Native species grows as well in sandy soils at the coastal areas (where it blooms almost year-round) as inlads, at the foot of the Andes Mountains or in the Atacama Desert after the rare occurance of rainfall (where it blooms during Spring), always in full sun positions. Adecuate for xeriscaping. Good drainage is a must.

The fleshy leaves from an attractive basal rosette, with 50/60 cm long flower stems. Flowers can reach a diameter of up to 6 cm.

This plant can be propagated either from seeds or from separating rootballs.

Sow outdoors is Autumn on a mix of equal parts of river sand and regular garden soil. cover this mixture with a thin layer of pure sand, scatter your seeds and cover the thinly with more sand. Plants grown fr... read more