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Talinum calycinum

Talinum calycinum
large fameflower
Talinum calycinum

Synonym(s) Phemeranthus calycinus
Common name large fameflower
Family portulacaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z5-9)
Flowers pink (late spring-summer)
Size 8"
Light sun
Cultural notes well-drained soil, drought-tolerant
From seed Flowers first year from seed sown indoors early.
detailed seed-starting info below
Seed ripensextended period, starting late July

Compact-growing succulent, native to US prairies. The slightly twisty mass of slender rubbery leaves looks cool enough – magenta flowers held above on wiry stems are a bonus. In several early attempts, I managed to raise flowering first-year plants, but none of them returned for a second year. So I was pleased when one year (after a cold winter, even), several plants returned. They were a bit late, not showing growth until late April, so I may have inadvertently discarded their lifeless root structures in previous years.
After growing this several times in Pennsylvania, I decided to give it a try in Houston as well. I managed to keep one seedling alive into its second year, which proceeded to bloom nicely that summer – but the plant died after flowering, and I didn't get around to collecting seed. Luckily, two seedlings emerged the following spring; I hope to keep at least a small population going...
A note about collecting seed: the ripening seed capsules eventually turn tan, at which point they very readily release their trove of small black seeds. The problem is that many drop their seeds before that point: even with loads of flowers fading, you don't see many tan seed capsules. I found that you can harvest the capsules when they are starting to show a hint of red around the edges: the seed inside is already ripe at that stage.

large fameflower
Talinum calycinum
Growth returns, late April
large fameflower
One of two seedlings emerging early May; their mother plant died after flowering the previous year, so I'm happy to see them (but had been hoping for greater numbers)

In our garden, this plant grows in the following area: rock garden zone

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from HPS/MAG '08/'09 exchange. Baggy 35F (8w) - 70F (61%G, 6-17d)
  2. Seed from HPS/MAG '12/'13 exchange. Baggy 35F (8w) - 70F (5w, no G)
  3. Same seed as above, cold-stored. Baggy 35F (10w) - 70F with light (~20%G, 10-20d)
  4. Seed from '14 garden, cold-stored. Baggy 35F (10w) - 70F with light (35%G, 11-30d)

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