Desert Horse-purslane

Desert Horse-purslane or Desert Horsepurslane (Trianthema portulacastrum) is common in irrigated and drainage areas here in Tucson, and these low-growing, native plants are considered to be invasive weeds in agricultural areas.

Desert Horse-purslane or Desert Horsepurslane (Trianthema portulacastrum) flower

Desert Horse-purslane plants are fleshy and succulent, and the abundant water storage cells in their tissues will sparkle with moisture in the direct sunlight.

Desert Horse-purslanes are members of the Fig-marigold Family (Aizoaceae), and other members of this succulent family include iceplants, such as the attractive, non-native Crystalline Iceplant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum) which has unusually large water storage cells that look like sparkling beads of ice.

I have never considered lowly Desert Horse-purslane plants to be at all attractive, but I now think that I was just too large to appreciate them. Up close, from the perspective of a small creature (or a camera's macro lens), their pink flowers are actually quite pretty. From a distance though, these plants still look just plain and weedy.