Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Portulaca oleracea
common purslane

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east across North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Fields, roadsides, wastelots, and other disturbed areas.

Flowers: june-September

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bees, flies, beetles


Glabrous, fleshy annual with several prostrate, freely-branched stems up to 3 dm. long.


Leaves alternate, somewhat clustered at the branch tips, spatulate to obovate, 1-3 cm. long and 3-10 mm. wide.


Flowers sessile, axillary and in small, terminal clusters; sepals 2, 3-4 mm. long, keeled, acute, attached to the lower part of the ovary, making the ovary partly inferior; petals usually 5, yellow, slightly shorter than the sepals; stamens 6-10; styles 4-6, united below.



Accepted Name:
Portulaca oleracea L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 445. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Portulaca neglecta Mack. & Bush
Portulaca retusa Engelm.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Portulaca oleracea in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Portulaca oleracea checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Portulaca oleracea information.

E-Flora BC: Portulaca oleracea atlas page.

CalPhotos: Portulaca oleracea photos.

USDA Plants: Portulaca oleracea information.

32 photographs:
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