Portulaca teretifolia H. B. & K.
Annual, prostrate or ascending, somewhat fleshy herb. Stem and branches slender, terete, with 3-6 mm long internodes, glabrous. Leaves alternate, sessile, somewhat fleshy, linear to linear-lanceolate, 5-8 mm long, 1.5-3 mm broad, acute, entire; stipular hairs copious, 3-6 mm long, twisted. Inflorescence a terminal, sessile cluster of 2-6 flowers surrounded by long pale hairs and 8 leaved- involucre. Flowers pink, c. 10 mm across; bracts minute, elliptic-ovate, acute. Sepals free, c. 3.5 mm long, triangular-ovate, acute, glabrous. Petals 5, slightly united at the base, obovate, 5-6 mm long, c. 4 mm broad, obtuse, pink. Stamens c. 20, filaments filiform, c. 3 mm long, basally united and adnate to petals; anthers minute. Carpels 4, syncarpons; ovary ovoid; style deeply 4-fid; stigmas 4, elongated, c. 1.5 mm long. Capsule ovoid, 5-6 mm long, c. 4 mm in diam., circumscissile in the middle, enclosed by withered corolla and hairs, crustaceous, wall parallel-veined. Seeds numerous, reniform, dark brown to black, papillate.
Fl. Per. March-October.
Type: Described from S. America., Herb. Linn. 625/2 (LINN).
Distribution: Cuba, West Indies, Puerto Rico, Flordia, Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguaya, Rio de Janiero, West Pakistan.
Native of tropical and subtropical America. It is rare and probably a casual introduction in our area.
The leaves are intensely bitter to taste and have been used as a diuretic, stomachic and emmenagogue.