Common Purslane


pursley, pussley, wild portulaca

Portulaca oleracea

Common purslane is a mat-forming summer annual that thrives in all soil types. Common purslane has multi-branched red stems with thick fleshy leaves that cluster at the end of the branches. The entire plant is very succulent and resembles a jade plant. It is common to disturbed soil, new seedings, sidewalk crevices and mulched planting beds. Common purslane prefers high light and warm conditions. This plant reproduces by seeds that are formed in a capsule with a lid that flips open. Solitary yellow flowers will only open with sunny conditions.

  • Crops Affected: turf


    Due to its waxy succulent nature, common purslane will tolerate extreme temperatures but not traffic. Common purslane is probably the most common broadleaf weed of spring turf establishments. As with many other summer annual, common purslane is not likely to be present in the year after planting.

    Similar Species

    Casual observers will confuse common purslane with other mat-forming annual weeds like prostrate knotweed and spotted spurge. Knotweed lacks the glossy appearance of purslane and forms whitish-pink flowers in the apex of the leaves (which also have a fingernail-like ocrea). Spotted (or prostrate) spurge is another summer annual that can be found in mulched planting beds. Spurge is generally associated with drier conditions and will exude a milky latex from the stems, leaves and roots.