Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wildflower Wednesday: Quill Fameflower

May blooms are plentiful in our garden so trying to choose which plant to feature for Wildflower Wednesday, hosted by Clay and Limestone, wasn't easy. I contemplated several noteworthy candidates but ultimately picked this sweet succulent, the quill fameflower (Phemeranthus teretifolium/Talinum teretifolium).


It grows naturally around granite outcrops in a few southeastern states. Although it is found in restricted habitats, this member of the Portulacaceae family is widespread in the areas where it is found. 
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The fuchsia hued flowers bloom from early summer into late fall. The ephemeral blooms, which only open for a few hours on sunny afternoons, provide a significant nectar source for a variety of native bees and other small pollinators. But you'll have to get close at plant level to observe the tiniest of pollinators. As the flower is only open for a brief time, it can self pollinate if it isn't serviced. 

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The fleshy foliage is designed to store water and taller stems hold the dainty blooms that reach for the sun. 

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I found this Quill fameflower last year at Georgia Perimeter College Botanical Garden and was able to incorporate it into our landscape plan. Their plant sale space has fabulous demonstration gardens that educate visitors about the native plants they sell. In addition to selling plants, they offer talks and walks through the grounds by knowledgeable speakers. If you are in the area, I highly recommend you stop and shop.

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Taking a cue from where this tiny succulent grows naturally, it is wonderfully suited for a rock garden, gravel barren, stony ledges or a living roof. We incorporated this drought tolerant plant into our hillside along the front steps (read more here), where it is exposed to full day sun and well drained soil. If you live in its native range and have the right growing conditions, it is an excellent perennial succulent to incorporate into a home landscape.

12 comments:

  1. I beautiful wildflower that I have never heard of before.
    Hope you are having a great week!

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    1. Happy to introduce you to this beauty. Enjoy your weekend in the garden.

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  2. It's a beauty! So glad you shared it for WW! xogail

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    1. Thank you for hosting! Love reading all the posts from everyone passionate about wildflowers!

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  3. That is a beauty, and obviously the pollinators love it! It looks great framed by that lovely salmon-colored rock.

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    1. Thanks Beth! That rock is one of the border rocks that we use to frame our beds. They vary in color from pink hues to gray and light brown. You're right they make a great back drop for the ground cover plants!

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  4. So pretty, Karin! I'm a big fan of portulaca which is used as an annual around here, especially for it's ability to withstand hot, dry conditions.

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    1. Plants that withstand drought conditions are winners in my book. It allows us to get through the dry summer with some blooms!

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  5. What an intriguing common name. Thanks for the introduction - it's interesting to see wildflowers that don't grow in my area.

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  6. I don't think I've heard of that one before. What a lovely little wildflower! I love the color.

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  7. What a beautiful wildflower....one I had not seen or heard of. I too love the color.

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"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul"

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