Thursday, February 14, 2013

Portulaca clavigera

Portulaca clavigera R. Geesink was first described in 1969. I have never seen it and know very little about it. I believe it is similar in most respects to Portulaca digyna, but the leaves are broadly obclavate rather than shortly terete, the flowers are sessile instead of pedunculate, and the petals are more rounded.

The following description of Portulaca clavigera R. Geesink is by J.G. West and was published in Flora of the Kimberley Region by J. R. Wheeler, Western Australian Herbarium, 1992, page 136.

Prostrate ephemeral herb, with red stems to 100 mm long. Axillary hairs continuous around the node, to 6 mm long, very prominent giving the stem a jointed appearance. Leaves opposite, subsessile, ovate to elliptic, 5-8 X 3-5 mm, margin revolute in upper half, acute to acuminate. Inflorescence a head of 2-5 sessile flowers. Sepals ovate, 3-4.5 mm long, with a dorsal awn attached just below the apex. Petals 4, bright pink to red, broadly obovate, 5-8 mm long, emerginate. Stamens 12-15. Stigmas 2 on a common style much longer than the stigmatic arms. Capsule ovoid, 3-3.5 mm long; operculum ovoid, with an apiculate apex, at least twice as long as the base. Seeds smooth, shiny, black, globular, 0.8-1 mm long.
Flowers and fruits February -June.

P. clavigera is found only in the northern Kimberley in the far NW of Western Australia, between the Mitchell Plateau and the Prince Regent River. Florabase describes the habitat type as lateritic gravel, sand on sandstone, and basalt outcrops.

The only photo I can find online is this one on WA Florabase.

If anybody reading this post has more information or photos of this species that can be used on this blog, please contact me or leave a message below.

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