Talinum okanaganense

Submitted by Howey on Tue, 09/14/2010 - 15:43

Finally, after a couple of unsuccessful tries, T.okanaganense germinated for me and grew more sturdy throughout the summer in its pot. Previously, I had planted it outside, thinking it would winter over here. Should have realized that the BC Okanagan Valley is desert like - or so I have heard - and a lot warmer than here. And of course it just disappeared never to return. So this time, it stayed in its pot over summer but now seems to be "dying". Can anyone tell me is this just what it does in the winter - just die down - and then come up in the spring? Will try to keep it indoors in a cool, but not icey spot. Such a lovely little plant. Fran

Frances Howey
London, Ontario, Canada
Zone 5b


Submitted by Lori S. on Tue, 09/14/2010 - 19:35

I don't claim to grow it well, but here in zone 3, it more-or-less reduces itself down to rubbery stems for the winter - the succulent leaves "deflate" and some probably die back entirely.  It's still green and in bud here though.

Submitted by Mark McD on Tue, 09/14/2010 - 20:59

Frances, it is hardy here in New England, USDA Zone 5.  In winter it basically sheds all leaves and dies back to a persistent minute woody base or caudex. When I lived in Seattle, which is very wet in winter, I grew it and Talinum spinescens, both doing well if given sharp drainage. 

By the way, most American Talinum are now the genus Phemeranthus, only some of the Southwestern and Mexican Talinum surviving intact as true Talinum.  Talinum okanoganense went through several names changes, it had become Talinum sediforme, and now Phemeranthus sediformis... much hub-bub over such a charming tiny plant.  At a New England Chapter NARGS plant sale this weekend, I picked up several Phemeranthus sediformis (I still like the old name, Talinum okanoganense) for 50 cents each :o, to replace those that finally died out in a trough that became overtaken with dense moss. 

From that same trough earlier this year, I rescued an 8-9 year old plant of Talinum 'Zoe' (Phemeranthus 'Zoe'), a well known hybrid between white Talinum okanoganense x magenta spinescens (using the old names here under which this hybrid is best known), the plant completely engulfed in rock-hard dense moss.  I uploaded a photo showing the plant now growing in a pot, although I had no flowers this year.  I include a few pertinent links, plus a link to one of my old web pages (excuse the lousy photos, in the early days of borrowed digital cameras), showing Phemeranthus 'Zoe' (Talinum 'Zoe') flowering with mid pink flowers, a true little beauty.

USDA Plant Profile page:

Flora of North America: