Here's a little treasure you may not have encountered yet – the hardy annual Talinum paniculatum 'Limón'.
A native of the West Indies and Central America, talinum belongs to the Portulaca family. The chartreuse leaves – which give the cultivar 'Limón' its name – appear almost succulent. Delicate pink flowers grow on airy stalks (called panicles) for much of the season, ripening into to tiny red bead-like fruits in mid October and remaining until frost. In fact, these flower stalks can be harvested as a dried flower at season's end. Cut fresh, they make a delicate addition to flower arrangements.
PanAmerican Seed, a leading breeder and producer of F1 and open-pollinated flower seed, calls Talinum paniculatum 'Limón' a "hot summer survivor" because it "handles stress well, including heat and drought. When exposed to stressful light, feed and water conditions, the foliage shows off an even more vibrant chartreuse colour."
But really, how could you resist growing a plant with the common name Jewels of Opar?
It just sounds so exotic.
Talinum paniculatum 'Limón'
Blooming Season: Late spring, summer
Hardiness: Zones 8-11
Habit: Mounded, Upright
Characteristics: Drought and heat tolerant, low maintenance
Fertilize: Once a month
Spacing: 14-16" (35.6 - 40.6cm)
Height: 28-32" (71.1 - 81.3cm)
Width: 16-18" (40.6 - 45.7cm)
Source: Simply Beautiful Gardens
I am told talinum readily self-seeds when grown in the garden and that it is a good plant for attracting bees.
You are welcome to download the recipe for this container featuring talinum. I call it Limón Sherbet. Look for the file in The Potting Shed.
One more growing tip – talinum is vigorous when given good growing conditions. You don't need many plants in a container to get plenty of impact.
Limón talinum is jewel for gardens (Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center, MSU)
Photo credits: Plant start, plants in garden: Rob's Plants; Container: therebloomsagarden.com