Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter.
Talinum panicualtum is a semi-succulent plant that is native to much of the Americas, including the southern part of the US. It is an annual, meaning that it will germinate, grow, flower and produce seed all in one growing season. In fact, it is happy to do this without much assistance—once you’ve planted it in your garden there is a very good chance it will always be there—but with its sprays of tiny, pink flowers and small orange-red seed pods, it is a very charming and welcome guest.
‘Kingswood Gold’ is a selection with yellow-green foliage, much brighter than the dark green of the wild species, and can be seen growing in several places in the Wild Garden. One of its favorite spots to grow spontaneously is between paving stones or along the edges of the paths, but our gardeners also plant out seedlings of plants started each spring in the greenhouse.
The common name, Jewels of Opar, is not exactly a long-established folk name. It was borrowed directly from the title of one of the Tarzan books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It is certainly jewel-like and maybe one can forgive the fictional reference!