Common Purslane: Portulaca oleracea
Prostrate, fleshy, succulent summer annual that is able to tolerate poor, compacted soils
and drought. Common purslane is a common weed of gardens, horticultural and
agronomic crops and is found throughout the United States.
Roots: Taproot with fibrous secondary roots.
|Seedling: Cotyledons oblong, succulent and without hairs (glabrous). Young leaves opposite with each succeeding pair 90° from the preceding pair. Young leaves maroon or maroon-tinted on lower surface.|
or opposite, 1/4 to 1 1/4 inches long, rounded at apex and narrowed to the base
(spatulate). Leaves are thick, succulent and fleshy, with smooth margins.
Stems: Succulent, smooth, prostrate, much-branched, purplish-red or green, 4 to 20 inches long and without hairs.
|Flowers: Yellow in
color with 5 petals, 5-10 mm wide, that open only when sunny. Flowers are found
alone in the leaf axils or clustered at the ends of the branches.
Fruit: An oval, many-seeded capsule (4-8 mm long by 3-5 mm wide) that splits open around the middle.
Identifying Characteristics: Prostrate growth habit in combination with the fleshy, succulent nature of this weed helps to distinguish it from most other plants.