Found in the Atacama desert in Chile, this astonishing lewisia relative forms strong wide mounds of silver-grey, branching fleshy leaves, its long stems being topped by a constant succession of sizeable cerise-pink flowers with bright orange stamens. Although a perennial in its desert home it is usually grown as a very fast-growing annual in this country.
Seeds may be sown at any time of the year onto a well-drained compost and covered very thinly indeed with compost or grit, leaving some of the seed showing as light may aid germination. Keep the pot moist at a temperature of between 18 and 22 degrees C in a well-lit position. Seeds should germinate within 2 to 6 weeks but may take longer. Pot on into small pots before finally planting into a large pot, or outside in warmer countries.
Common name:Rock Purslane, Cistanthe grandiflora
Classification:Half hardy perennial