Calandrinia ciliata – Fringed Redmaids

Calandrinia ciliata - Fringed Redmaids, Red Maids, Desert Rockpurslane

Calandrinia ciliata - Fringed Redmaids, Red Maids, Desert Rockpurslane

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Calandrinia ciliata

Common Names: Fringed Redmaids, Red Maids, Desert Rockpurslane

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert. It often grows in sandy washes.

Flower Color: Pink, Pinkish red, White

Flowering Season: Spring

Height: To 13 inches (33 cm) tall

Description: The flowers have 5 round-tipped petals and are 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) wide. The plants are low-growing and succulent with alternate, lance-shaped, often reddish-tipped leaves. The seeds are shiny and black. Birds and rodents enjoy the seeds.

Special Characteristics

Culturally Significant Plant – Native Americans used the seeds to make flour and oily meal. The young greens were eaten like spinach.

Edible – The black seeds and the young greens are edible. The nutritious seeds are high in oil and can be baked and ground into flour. The young greens should be eaten sparingly and cooked to reduce the oxalic acid content.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Caryophyllidae
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Portulacaceae – Purslane family
Genus: Calandrinia Kunth – redmaids
Species: Calandrinia ciliata (Ruiz & Pav.) DC. – fringed redmaids

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map