Talinum confertiflorum Greene


Family: Portulacaceae

Vernacular Name: New Mexico fameflower

Description: Stems mostly reddish; sepals acute, often with puple coloring, persistent in fruit; petals white to pale pink, five; stamens yellowish or matching petal color, 5 (rarely to 10); flowers open in afternoon; fruit are pointed apically and three-angled, not affected by internal pressure from seeds, self dehiscent with valves persistent until disturbed; seeds nearly smooth; only vary rarely over calcareus substrates, then in organic accumulations.

Similar Species: It differs from T. parviflorum in having narrower, more pointed fruit which self dehisce (in T. parviflorum near globose, with dehiscence as in T. longipes), persistent acute sepals (blunt and early deciduous in T. parviflorum), and a usually much lighter flower color (mostly deep pink to magenta in T. parviflorum, but sometimes lighter). The seeds of T. parviflorum usually appear black, as the investing aril is very tight fitting and adnate, while seeds of T. confertiflorum usually appear grey or blue-gray. T. confertiflorum is tetrapoid and T. parviflorum is diploid. Hybrids are possible, but apparently sterile.

Distribution: Talinum confertiflorum occurs from western North Dakota and Montana to western Texas, central Chihuahua, and northern Sonora. Talinum parviflorum is found east of the Great Plains and west of the Appalachians from Minnesota to central Texas and Arkansas. Talinum confertiflorum was found microsympatrically with T. brevicaule (= T. pulchellum) near El Moro where T. brevicaule occupied the calcareous substrate and T. conferiflorum was limited to organic and adjacent non-calcareous material. No hybrids were found, but should be looked for.

Habitat: Found mostly over sandstone or igneus substrates, but not picky, mostly in grasslands and well into Montane. Talinum confertiflorum and T. longipes were found spacially microsympatrically over calcareus sandstone south of San Ysidro, but T. confertiflorum was in organic pockets, while T. longipes was much more common and in mineral soils. No hybrids were found.

Remarks: This name has been brought up as possibly a rare or endemic species; however, it is not. This is the common species found statewide which is usually incorrectly called T. parviflorum.

Information Compiled By: Dave J. Ferguson, 1998