Molokini Moss Rose
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Molokini Moss Rose
P Introduced Photo: N Arun Kumar
Common name: Molokini Moss Rose, Molokini Portulaca
Botanical name: Portulaca molokiniensis    Family: Portulacaceae (Purslane family)

Molokini Moss Rose is a stout, upright growing fleshy plant that branches at or below the soil line to form a small shrub up to 30-50 cm tall by about as wide with each stem being about the thickness of a cigar. It bears 2.5-5 cm long rounded pale green fleshy leaves that are arranged neatly in 4 distinct rows towards the branch tips. A cluster of small yellow cup-shaped flowers forms at the ends of thick stalks that arise from the centre of the leaf rosettes, but it is the foliage of this plant that really makes it unique. Leaves are Rounded, pale green, up to 5 cm in length, often growing closely spaced in four rows along the stems and tend to cluster at the ends of the branches. Flowers are small, lemon yellow, cup-shaped subtended by leafy bracts form at the ends of stout non-leaf bearing stems that rise above a at branch-ends rosette of leaves. Molokini Moss Rose is native to Hawaiian Islands, cultivated as a garden plant.

Identification credit: N Arun Kumar Photographed in cultivation in Bangalore.

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