Scientific Name: Portulaca oleracea

Common Name: little hogweed

Other Common Names: akulikuli-kula, common purslane,duckweed, pursley, pusley, wild portulaca

Synonyms: Portulaca neglecta, Portulaca oleracea ssp. granulatostellulata, Portulaca oleracea ssp. impolita, Portulaca oleracea ssp. nicaraguensis, Portulaca oleracea ssp. nitida, Portulaca oleracea ssp. papillatostellulata, Portulaca oleracea ssp. stellat, Portulaca retusa

Habit: Common purslane is an annual that grows rapidly in spring and summer. It thrives under dry conditions but also competes well in irrigated situations. Plants prefer loose, nutrient-rich, sandy soil.

Leaves: Leaves are very succulent, often tinged red, and wedge-shaped. They are opposite or alternate along the stem and are without petioles.

Identifying Characteristics: Leaves and stems of this plant are hairless, thick, fleshy and very succulent. Stems are reddish-brown and round.

Flower Seed Head: Small yellow flowers are born singly or in clusters of two or three in stem axils or at tips of stems. Flowers usually open only on sunny mornings. Purslane seeds are very tiny and produced in abundance.

Seed Fruit: The fruit is an oval, many-seeded capsule (4-8 mm long by 3-5 mm wide) that splits open around the middle.

Where Found: It has been cultivated in India and the Middle East and has been popular in Europe since the Middle Ages. In the United States, common purslane is a minor crop because of its use in ethnic cooking and its reputed health benefits.

  • Life cycle: summer annual

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Portulacaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: opposite; alternate

  • Leaf shape: oval; round

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: entire

  • Stem hairs: no hairs

  • Flower color: yellow; white

  • Growth habit: prostrate and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs

  • Flower diameter: pencil

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Root structure: taproot; fibrous

  • Leaf stalk: none