Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Some succulents tend to bloom for a short period at a specific time of year, while others are known to bloom pretty much non-stop during the growing season. Here are some details on a few of the long flowering ones.
First there are the ever-popular autumn-blooming sedums or showy sedums. These can begin flowering during mid to late summer. They continue throughout the fall months right up until frost hits. These can usually provide several months of color before the weather turns cold and the flowers start to turn brown.
The moss rose and the flowering purslanes are also long blooming. These begin blooming in the spring, depending whether you buy these as bedding plants or start your own from seeds. They will continue flowering right up until the frost hits. However, the short days of fall does cause flowering to slow down somewhat.
The annual ice plants are also long flowering. Like the purslanes, these reliable plants will bloom non-stop until cold weather kills the plants back.
The hardy ice plants continue flowering here in western North Carolina even after frost has come. They just refuse to quit blooming. I have known them to bloom through the first of December after a few frosts. The purple flowered species (Delosperma cooperi) is especially reliable at flowering. The flowering begins to slow down as the days become increasingly shorter.
The fame flowers (Talinum spp.) are related to the flowering purslanes. Members of the portulaca family, there are a number of species that are native to the U.S. Often hidden by the flowers, the foliage of the fame flowers is linear. These begin blooming in late spring and early summer. Several of these are very free flowering, and are often grown in flower beds.
Talinum rugospermum is native to the Midwest where it is commonly found in sandstone and dry sandy soils. Its purple blooms tend to open in the late afternoon.
Talinum calycinum is native to the Midwest with its range extending into Texas. It prefers dry barrens and cliffs as well as sandy soils. This blooms from late spring throughout the summer. The blossoms are purple.
The hardiness of the fame flowers can vary, depending on the species. While several are winter hardy to zone six, others can only be grown in warmer climates. The leaves can be semi-evergreen and usually form rosettes. The blossoms can vary from saucer shaped to cup-like.