Phemeranthus calycinus (Engelm.) Kiger
Family - Portulacaceae
Stems - To +5cm but typically less, from thick rhizomes. Flowering scape to +15cm tall, 1mm in diameter, purplish-brown, glabrous.
Leaves - Alternate, in a basal rosette, terete, glabrous, succulent, to 7cm long, 3mm in diameter.
Inflorescence - Few flowers terminating scape, cymose. Each division of inflorescence subtended by pair of tiny scarious bracts to 1mm long. Pedicels 5-6mm long, glabrous, expanded beneath calyx.
Flowers - Petals 5, pinkish-rose, +/-1.5cm long, ovate to oblanceolate, mucronate, glabrous. Stamens +30. Filaments pinkish, glabrous, +/-7mm long. Anthers yellow, 1-1.5mm long. Style 1.2cm long, glabrous, pinkish. Stigma capitate. Ovary green, glabrous, ovoid, 2mm long. Sepals 2, ovate, acute, 5mm long, 3mm broad, glabrous, with scarious margins. Fruit an ovoid capsule to +6mm long, partially surrounded by sepals. Fruit a valved capsule to 7mm long, +/-4mm in diameter. Seeds many.
Flowering - May - September.
Habitat - Glades of limestone, granite or sandstone, bluffs.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - This is one of my favorite plants from this state. It is small yet provides a brilliant splash of color to the glade landscape. The flower color is one of the most vivid and saturated to be found anywhere. The plant favors level areas and does not take well on slopes. It often grows in areas that have seemingly no soil.
Photographs taken at Lichen Glade, MO., 6-7-03, and at Dave Rock Conservation Area, MO., 6-16-05.