The uncomplicated moss rose

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They look so pretty, don’t they? Moss rose or Portulaca grandiflora in my backyard.

I remember bringing home a wee bit of the succulent flowering plant Portulaca grandiflora, from a house we were looking at for someone, and sticking it in the dirt behind my house. That was then, and now, I have a veritable field of them in the backyard, and a fairly big patch by the front gate too. Most of them are a bright pink in color, with a few yellows in between. Nothing is more delightful than the sight of them every morning, nodding their heads gently in the breeze, their bright and beautiful faces open to receive the gift of sunlight.

I am told the plant is a native of Argentina, southern Brazil, and Uruguay. Wow, they are quite some distance from their original homes. The plant has apparently spread far and wide, and has also acquired many names along the way, names like rose moss, ten o’clock, Mexican rose, moss rose, Vietnam rose, sun rose (Cambodia), rock rose, and moss-rose purslane. In Northern India it is called nau bajia or nine o’clock flower, while in Pakistan the name is gul dopheri, meaning afternoon-flower.

Just like the varied names they come in various colors too and ALL of those shades are so pretty.  I am motivated to hunt down more colors and have them adorn my backyard garden. Not just the single-layered variety, but the double flowers too. Imagine how lovely the multi-colored field is going to look. I can’t wait to get started.

You know what I like best about the plants, apart from their obvious colorful beauty, that is? They do not require much attention. Fits the lazy me to a T. Stick them in the soil somewhere, give them their daily ration of water – that is, if its not raining – and as soon as the sun is up in the morning and shining brightly on them, they are up too and smiling even more brightly if that’s even possible, bringing cheer to all those who set eyes on them. In short, they are simple, and uncomplicated creatures, quite unlike humans.

Post Script: I am taking a week off from September Musings and will be back next Monday. The musings will continue for a week into October to complete the month. See you all on 24th. 

©Shail Mohan 2018

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