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Phemeranthus brevifolius

Phemeranthus brevifolius

Phemeranthus brevifolius

Phemeranthus brevifolius

Phemeranthus brevifolius
Phemeranthus brevifolius. Synonym: Talinum brevifolium. (Shortleaf Rockpink)
Montiaceae (Miner's Lettuce Family)
formerly Portulacaceae (Portulaca Family)

Semi-desert. Depressions in rock. Spring, Summer.
Above: Lower Butler Wash, May 21, 2014 & October 27, 2013. Left: Lower Butler Wash, Utah, May 3, 2007.

This minute beauty enjoys sandy, gravelly depressions in sandstone slabs.  Utah plant expert Stanley Welsh indicates that flowers usually are 10-12 millimeters across with some isolated populations as large as 25 mm.  Flowers pictured at left are about 25 mm; those in photographs at the top and bottom of this page are about 15mm.  Leaves can be cylindrical, club-shaped, or linear and size can vary from 1/3" as shown at left to 1/6" as shown in several other photographs on this page.

As the map below indicates, this species is not found in Colorado but is found in the other Four Corners states. 

The Talinum genus is now broken into Talinum and Phemeranthus and a number of species of each genus are found in the Four Corners states as well as in other areas of the U.S.

In 1854 John Torrey named this plant Talinum brevifolium.  In 1997 Hershkovitz placed it in a genus, Phemeranthus, that Rafinesque had named in 1814.  "Phemeranthus" is from the Greek "ephemeros" ("ephemeral"), "living for a short time" and "anthos", "flower".

Phemeranthus brevifolius

Phemeranthus brevifolius

Phemeranthus brevifolius

Phemeranthus brevifolius. Synonym: Talinum brevifolium. (Shortleaf Rockpink)
Montiaceae (Miner's Lettuce Family)
formerly Portulacaceae (Portulaca Family)

Semi-desert. Depressions in rock. Spring.
Lower Butler Wash, Utah, May 21, 2014 & May 3, 2007; Comb Ridge, Utah, May 15, 2013.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color KeySpecies present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Phemeranthus brevifolius