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Common purslane, Portulaca oleracea


Family: Portulacaceae (Purslane)

Group: Dicot

Life span: Annual

Origin: Eurasia

Growth form: Forb/herb

Prostrate, mat forming (12 inches or more in diameter) summer annual with thick, succulent reddish stems and leaves.  Leaves are alternate or nearly opposite, smooth, succulent, with untoothed margins, and usually purplish red. Leaf is wedge-shaped, broadly round at the tip, narrowing at the base, with no petiole.  Flowers are yellow, solitary in the leaf axils or clustered on the ends of stems.  The fruit is a round capsule, which splits open around the middle to release the very small, black seeds. The root is a thick taproot with fibrous roots. Propagation is by seed and fragmented stem segments that root at the nodes.