Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

Quick facts and control methods

Common weeds at a glance

Nor to be confused with the large-flowered ornamental purslane sold in nurseries (the 'Wildfire' strain, variously ascribed to Portulaca oleracea, P. umbraticola, and P. grandiflora), weedy purslane is a low-growing summer annual found in gardens and orchards throughout the country. It thrives in moist conditions but can withstand considerable drought. Its fleshy, dark green leaves are edible, with a tart, lemony flavor.

Though purslane is easy to pull or hoe, pieces of stem can reroot readily, so be sure to remove them from the garden. Also remove plants that have begun to flower, since they can ripen seed even after they've been pulled ― and a single plant can produce more than 50,000 seeds.

Purslane can be controlled with solarization. For chemical control, use a pre-emergence herbicide containing oryzalin or pendimethalin.