Weeds: Purslane, common – Portulaca oleracea

categories: Pr-Sc Weeds

revision date: 2024-06-22 10:58

  • Family: Portulacaceae
  • Cycle: Annual
  • Plant type: Broadleaf
Common purslane succulent leaves and flower.
Common purslane succulent leaves and flower
Photo by: D.G. Swan


Common purslane reproduces by seeds, but it can also root from the stems or stem fragments which contact the soil. Common purslane is usually a prostrate plant from a taproot, with fleshy, reddish stems and succulent, green leaves. It can be mat-forming. Plants growing in shade are more upright and produce fewer leaves than plants in full sun. The leaves are oval, about 1/2-inch long, and alternate or nearly opposite, often in clusters. The leaf tips may be blunt or slightly rounded and petioles are absent. Tiny, five-petalled, yellow flowers may be seen in bright sunlight. Tiny black seeds are produced in small capsules that split open across the center. SPECIAL INFORMATION: The fleshy stems and thick, blunt leaves are distinguishing characteristics and also contribute to the plants’ survival after pulling. The stems are brittle and break easily, creating fragments which re-root easily after cultivation. Purslane has been used as a vegetable, but it may accumulate oxalates, which can be toxic.


Common purslane is a common weed of gardens, lawns, waste areas, and cultivated fields. It grows best on rich, moist soils and can grow in sun or shade.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Maintaining a healthy planting or turf area to provide competition will prevent weed establishment.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • Apply according to label directions.
  • Glyphosate products should be applied as spot treatments only!
  • NOTE: Some ingredients listed here are only available in combination.
  • Read the label carefully on combination products to make sure the product is suitable for your specific situation.

Landscape areas

  • dichlobenil
  • glyphosate
  • oryzalin

Turf areas

  • 2,4-D + MCPP + dicamba
  • triclopyr

Bare ground areas

  • glyphosate
  • oryzalin
  • triclopyr

Additional Images