Portulaca Species, Pigweed, Purslane, Little Hogweed, Wild Portulaca

Portulaca oleracea

Family: Portulacaceae
Genus: Portulaca (por-tew-LAK-uh) (Info)
Species: oleracea (awl-lur-RAY-see-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Portulaca neglecta
Synonym:Portulaca oleracea subsp. oleracea
Synonym:Portulaca retusa
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun




Foliage Color:

Dark Green

Medium Green


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Under 1"

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Elberta, Alabama

Gurley, Alabama

Jones, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

Saraland, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

Benton, Arkansas

Chino Hills, California

Long Beach, California

NORTH FORK, California

Ontario, California

Placentia, California

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Golden, Colorado

Chester, Connecticut

Big Pine Key, Florida

Deltona, Florida

Fernandina Beach, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Holiday, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Interlachen, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida(2 reports)

Kathleen, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Largo, Florida

Marathon, Florida

Milton, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Palm Coast, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Sebring, Florida(2 reports)

Tampa, Florida

Venice, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Cochran, Georgia

Hawkinsville, Georgia

Milledgeville, Georgia

Royston, Georgia

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Kurtistown, Hawaii

Moscow, Idaho

Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Jacksonville, Illinois

Oak Lawn, Illinois

South Bend, Indiana

Sioux City, Iowa

Parsons, Kansas

Dawson Springs, Kentucky

Tompkinsville, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Denham Springs, Louisiana

New Iberia, Louisiana

Ruston, Louisiana

Slidell, Louisiana

Westlake, Louisiana

Zachary, Louisiana

Aberdeen, Maryland

Glen Burnie, Maryland

East Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Central Lake, Michigan

Constantine, Michigan

Mosherville, Michigan

Warren, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Long Beach, Mississippi

Saucier, Mississippi

Bellevue, Nebraska

Roswell, New Mexico

Syracuse, New York

Henderson, North Carolina

Lucama, North Carolina

Pittsboro, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina(2 reports)

Wilsons Mills, North Carolina

Belfield, North Dakota

Medora, North Dakota

Bucyrus, Ohio

Council Hill, Oklahoma

Owasso, Oklahoma

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Coos Bay, Oregon

Gold Hill, Oregon

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Millersburg, Pennsylvania

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Columbia, South Carolina

Ladys Island, South Carolina

Prosperity, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Sumter, South Carolina

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Big Sandy, Texas

Brownsville, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas(2 reports)

Georgetown, Texas(2 reports)

Houston, Texas

Lumberton, Texas

Midlothian, Texas

Odessa, Texas

Port Lavaca, Texas

Richmond, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

Victoria, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 22, 2021, Sown_ja from Willits, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Sometimes a pest where I've lived in Idaho & California, but more often a welcome groundcover (very low to ground, NO KILLER AWNS OR BURS, and pretty. Tasty & tangy, and I too am recently reading about its healthy fats. HOWEVER--the high oxalic acid (OA) content (spinach, beets & chard have, also, though lesser amounts?) makes it unwise to eat a lot of, because OA ties up several minerals we need, and can be a cause of kidney stones. I need all the calcium and iron I can get! There is research on growing it with varying forms of nitrogen (but hydroponically-- partly to precisely control the experiments?). The goals are to find subspecies and/or cultivars that can ignore high NaCl levels, deal with TYPES OF nitrogen provided, while maximizing fatty acids, protein, beta carotene etc. The inf... read more


On May 10, 2017, deepak1954 from PUNE,
India wrote:

I wonder why my Purslane has stopped flowering - I have red and bright yellow plants in hanging baskets .I am in India and in Zone 12 (USA equivalent ) its summer here , the plants are in full sun (8-10 hours ) .It was flowering profusely and now lots of lush growth but no flowers at all at the moment .It just stopped flowering .
I require some expert advise - so I can get my plants to flower again

I did feed it with Pottasium liquid feed . .


On Jul 25, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

The Common Purslane is a common, widespread succulent annual weed in gardens. It does not have conspicuous flowers. It originally came from Europe. Mexicans and some others love to fry it, and it tastes sort of like spinach. I've eaten the foliage raw and it does taste like spinach. In the Philadelphia area, people call the Moss Rose, Portulca grandiflora, by it scientific generic name of Potulaca, so there is confusion. They even pronounce the name correctly as in Latin (or Spanish). I pull this little weed out of the ground all the time once warm summer has come.


On Jul 19, 2013, ohmygdb from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

It is amazing that after 43 years of living in Phoenix, AZ I am just learning about this plant (WEED). The amazing nutritional value & Omega 3 content. I have pulled this plant out of my tree basins more times than I can remember. I am now cultivating it for my chickens to eat.


On Feb 7, 2013, Menk from Darling Downs,
Australia wrote:

Most of the photos posted under this name are garden cultivars of P. umbraticola. There is nothing "anonymous" about them. Also they are technically not true hybrids in the sense that they resulted from the crossing of different species. Only one species with a broad natural distribution was ever involved. They are produced by way of intra-varietal hybridization and from then on are continued vegetatively from cuttings. In this sense they are essentially cultivars of a species.

The correct naming of the cultivar is prescribed by the Rules and Recommendations of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. In this case the correct name is Portulaca umbraticola subsp. umbraticola 'Cultivar Name' or as Portulaca umbraticola subsp. umbraticola Group Name. The l... read more


On Feb 20, 2012, natureguyfrog from San Diego, CA wrote:

Yes this entry is THE edible wild purslane!
There are several pictures under this entry that are DEFINITELY NOT P. oleraceae!

The pictures with the vivid, large colored flowers AND narrow leaves are the annual "Moss Rose" or "Rose Moss", P. grandiflora originally from South America. They have been available to gardeners since well towards the beginning of the last century if not before.

The pictures with large yellow flowers or those of multiple colors with leaves that are very similar to P. oleraceae most likely are P. umbraticola "Wildfire Hybrids" often sold as P. oleraceae or P. grandiflora.

I know of three types of P. oleraceae grown for food. It is possible that there are other varieties or subspecies (P. oleraceae sativa) that are ... read more


On Jan 9, 2011, sunkissed from Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I just love this colorful plant. It is about the only plant that will grow well in my sunny flower box that relies on hand watering or rain...very drought tolerant and selfseeds. I have even put the leaves in my salads and they have a nice taste to them, it is very high in vitamins A, B1 and C .
My only complaint is the flowers only stay out half the day and then close up, wish they'd stay out as long as the sun does. They can't tolerate too much water, the ones I have that get overhead irrigation eventually get leggy and rot at the soil base. Grow great in sunny neglected areas of sandy soil and seems to be the area that self seeds. Will not tolerate temperatures below 35.


On Dec 7, 2010, eclayne from East Longmeadow, MA (Zone 5b) wrote:

Portulaca oleracea, Purslane or Glistritha, pronounced ghlee-STREE-thah (hard "th" sound) has been used in Greek cooking for millenia. Try Googling Purslane + Greek. Pliny advised wearing the plant as an amulet to expel all evil due to its healing properties. My Aunt, born on Crete, called it (and seemingly half of the other yard weeds) Horta. I called it rabbit food. Today I "encourage", allow! it to grow amongst the callas and EEars and get a great salad add-in free.


On Aug 19, 2010, Poetinwood from Council Hill, OK wrote:

The purslane from the vendor listed at the top, Territorial Seed, does not sell the wild purslane, but Golden purslane.


On Jun 15, 2010, maam from Chester, CT wrote:

once i learned how nutritious this plant is, i stopped weeding it. thus it becomes a living mulch under most of my vegetables, and grows more upright in the shade to allow easier harvesting. this seems to have no ill effects on tomatoes, peppers, squash, or sweet potatoes. i've frozen it for winter soups, or add it as a thickener in tomato sauces without any added flavor. maam in zone 6, ct.


On Nov 4, 2008, Phytowarrior from Brisbane,
Australia wrote:

Portulaca oleracea is one of the richest source of non-fish EPA Essential Fatty acids (Omega 3's) on earth.

The entire plant is edible and can be eaten raw, cooked or pickled and has a mild acid taste & a fatty/mucilaginous quality.


On Jul 11, 2008, figaro52 from Lakes of the Four Seasons, IN (Zone 5a) wrote:

A noxious weed. In my garden I call it the "scourge of summer"!


On Feb 18, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I consider this weed on the 10 worst weed for me. They loves to appear where there are sun in my yard and anywhere there are a little exposured soil. Carpetweed is also a co- conspiracy weed that grows along with Weedy Purslane.


On Feb 17, 2008, Yorkerjenny from Syracuse, NY wrote:

What a wonderful suprise it was when I saw for the first time on backyard! It's one of my favorite vegetables ever. They are so delicious, I mix them with hybrid purslane when I cook. Last year I collected their seeds. They are very easy to grow, actually just throw the seeds to soil, little bit water, then forget it. They continuously grow. Their branches parallel to ground, leaves dark green and small, steams are purple, flowers are small yellow. Evening time flowers close, in the mornings open again. In the tip of the leaves there are few green capsules. the top half drops and many very thinny black seeds drop to ground and grow. If you see them as weed, you better get rid of them before those capsules open. Otherwise, you'll have many more. And wind will spread them easily.
I... read more


On Jun 25, 2006, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

I like this tasty little salad plant. It's also great sauted with ground meat and tomatoes. And it is a valuable plant in erosion control. If it didn't volunteer, I'd probably plant it.


On Jun 25, 2006, Sherlock_Holmes from Rife, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

In added support of this plant that many people unfortunately classify as a garden pest, though not among most of the people of this group, I wanted to leave the following narrative from The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America by Francois Couplan, Ph.D.

"Portulaca oleracea, originally from the tropical and subtropical regions of the Old World, is a common weed in North America. It has been used as a vegetable for over 2,000 years in India and Persia. Purslane is cultivated as a salad plant or potherb in Asia, Europe, and South America.

Leaves and stems are fleshy and slightly acid. They are edible raw, preferably mixed with other greens because of their mucilaginous texture. The plant can be used as a thickener for soups and stews. It... read more


On May 20, 2006, diana_s from Milton, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Fantastic, low maintenance plant. Love how it blooms from 9-5 and always seems to have lots of blooms!


On Feb 9, 2006, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

I have the wild kind growing everywhere, and reseeds all over the place. It's one of my worst weeds. It's easy enough to pull, but there's so much of it every year. I think the seeds blow in from the neighboring pastures and fields.


On Oct 4, 2005, ponton from Victoria,
Afghanistan, Islamic State of wrote:

Wild pursalane has come up all over this town, in flower beds, cracks in sidewalks, and I have yet to hear a positive comment on it. Never saw it before this year (2005)


On Jun 20, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I "pruned" a couple of leggy stems from this plant at one of the large garden centers, stuck it in the dirt in my garden, and it bloomed right away and has spread out about 1 ft in all directions.

I have both this hybrid/ornamental variety and the native wildflower version with smaller flowers in my yard.


On Jun 4, 2005, woodspirit1 from Lake Toxaway, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have not grown this plant but my sister-in-law has and she lives nearby. We live in a very rainy area but plant them with excellent drainage and they do great even here. Hers are in concrete urns setting atop some walled stairs in full sun (when we have it).


On Oct 26, 2004, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

The wild weed type also goes by the name of 'verdolaga' in the grocery stores.


On Oct 13, 2004, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I love it's large flowers! mine are red, and it is very easy to gather seeds, I wonder if I will be able to grow it from seed.


On Oct 12, 2004, FranciscoSantos from Brasília,
Brazil wrote:

The plants in these pictures are not the true wild portulaca, they are the cultivated form of Portulaca oleracea. The wild form has smaller, less ornamental flowers(yellow), and spatulate leaves. It also takes a somewhat radiating habit as it sends shoots( quite ornamental) and growing it requires attention as its inumerous seeds dispese and grow everywhere if you don't control it.


On May 11, 2004, easter794 from Seffner, FL wrote:

I love this little plant but the squirrels love it too. They eat it all up. Very easy to grow. Little to no care. Easy to root, just pluck a piece off and stick it in the dirt. I have a new variety that is just lovely. All Aglow in Florida.


On Apr 13, 2004, Lanan from Hawkinsville, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Wonderful plant that does NOT need lots of water. Will grow in places nothing else will grow. Beautiful and will fill out quickly. Can just pinch off a stem and stick in the ground to root. MUCH prettier and fuller than the thin leaf portulaca. Needs lots of sun to bloom well but will grow in shade. GREAT ground cover or use in a hanging basket. I even grew it out of a hole in a tree!


On Sep 12, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, TX


The name "Portulaca" is a derivative of "portare" (Latin) which means to carry and lac (milk) which refers to the plant's milky sap. Meaning pertaining to kitchen gardens, "oleracea" (Latin) is a reference to its use as a vegetable. It is an herbaceous weed commonly known as purslane in the U.S. It is found growing wild and/or cultivated in much of the world in almost any unshaded area in cold, warm and/or hot climates.

The small, yellow, almost nonsignificant flowers are up to .25 inches in diameter and appear in late spring and continue into mid fall. The flowers are open only part of the day and do not open fully on v... read more


On Jul 18, 2003, desertpete from Odessa, TX wrote:

I live in West Texas where it is very hot and dry. Purslane seems to thrive here. The birds eat my moss roses down to the numb, but don't seem to bother the purslane. It blooms it's little heart out until frost.


On Jul 8, 2003, broozersnooze from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

EXTREMELY easy to root. Break off a stem with a bloom, put it in water to root (takes only about a week). The cutting just keeps right on blooming. When the cutting roots the bloom is still there so you'll know what color you're planting. Neatest thing I've ever seen. Drought resistant, succulent-type plant. Lots of recipes on the web for cooking these beautiful plants.


On Jul 7, 2003, grakay from Palm Coast, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant has been so prolific, that I've given many cuttings away, and rooted even more for more small gifts. I have one that is in a hanging basket that really likes to show its beauty.
It loves the full sun here in Florida, and covers bare spots very nicely.


On Jul 6, 2003, Yubiapricot from Aberdeen, MD wrote:

I love this plant. So many different colors to choose from. This year however, I'm having problems with my perfectly healthy 10" baskets of purslane. Almost overnight, ALL of the leaves began turning yellow and falling off.


On Jun 21, 2003, DrSal from Marathon, FL wrote:

What a wonderful find for sunny Florida. Purslane blooms during the day and the flowers close up at night. The blooms are brilliant. The plant requires little care and only occasional watering. It spreads quickly and is excellent as a ground cover or even in a hanging basket.


On May 24, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This is the first plant I tried to grow, even though it was accidental (it started growing in an abandoned vase in my window, and I didn´t want it to die, like the other plants that tried to grow there spontaneously before). So, even a 14 years old kid with no experience or even taste for gardening can make it grow and bloom abundantly with little effort


On Apr 3, 2003, ebob wrote:

Purslane is an excellent plant. The wild form is a formidable pest for farmers in the midwest. When I worked on a small farm in Wisconsin, purslane covered our beds in between our vegetable crops. However, some have conquered this by raising it as a food crop! The wild and cultivated forms are both edible, with a delightful slimy texture and sour flavor. The wild purslane does not grow the large and colorful flowers of the cultivated variety. Purslane reminds me of the Jade plant.


On Jun 14, 2002, ishuffle from Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is a great plant for hanging baskets, pots, or as ground cover. Purslane loves the heat and is very drought tolerant. This is a plant that blooms from spring to frost without any maintenance.