Fam. Pl. 2: 245, 609. 1763.

Etymology: Apparently from an African vernacular name
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Mentioned on page 458, 489, 490, 491.

Herbs [or subshrubs], perennial, caulescent, glabrous. Roots tuberous, fleshy to woody. Stems erect, simple or branching, sometimes suffrutescent. Leaves alternate or subopposite, short-petiolate or subsessile, articulate at base, not clasping, attachment points round; blade broadly planate, 1–7 cm wide, succulent or semisucculent, margins entire. Inflorescences lateral and/or terminal, paniculate, racemose, or cymose, not appearing secund, few- to many-flowered; peduncle very short to elongate. Flowers pedicellate; sepals deciduous or persistent, distinct; petals fugacious, 5 or rarely more, distinct; stamens 15–35, distinct, anther 2-locular, oblong; gynoecium 3[–5]-carpellate, ovary superior, placentation free-central, style 1 [absent], stigma(s) 1 or 3[–5]. Fruits capsular, longitudinally and tardily dehiscent from apex, 3[–5]-valved; valves wholly or partly deciduous, erect; exocarp and endocarp distinctly differentiated, sometimes separating, then endocarp persistent. Seeds many, black, ± compressed, circular-reniform, ca. 1 mm, strophiolate; seed coat lustrous, minutely tuberculate or striolate, pellicle absent. x = 12.


North America, West Indies, Central America, South America, Africa, introduced elsewhere.


Species ca. 15 (2 in the flora).

As circumscribed here, Talinum is a primarily Old World genus with only two species found in North America. Other North American species that usually have been included in Talinum are recognized here under Phemeranthus (which see for discussion).


1 Inflorescences racemose or cymose; pedicels triquetrous, distinctly thicker distally; petals 7 mm or longer; stigma 1, 3-lobed Talinum fruticosum
1 Inflorescences paniculate; pedicels terete, ± uniformly slender; petals 6 mm or shorter; stigmas 3, linear Talinum paniculatum