Is this purslane?

rcheng(Z6 OH)July 19, 2014

I wonder if this is purslane? I don't see any flowers and no milky discharge when the branch is pinched.

I heard purslane is a 'beneficial weed' and even very nutritious but I need to make sure this is indeed purslane. Thanks for all your help and information.

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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Yes, the plant in the photo is purslane (Portulaca oleracea), an edible weed.

Afaik, purslane (Portulaca oleracea) shouldn't be milky. However, Spotted spurge (Euphorbia maculata), which though not a relative is aka Milk purslane, has a white latex sap. I wouldn't recommend anyone eating that!

Some folks who have allergic reactions to latex products also react to the latex produced by members of the Euphorbia clan (which includes Poinsettia, Snow on the mountain, the Firestick cactus, Mole plant, the Crotons, and Three-seeded Mercury -- a weed which would like to take over my pasture).

Here's some info about Milk purslane (known to my brother and me, years ago, as Spotted scourge rather than Spotted spurge, due to the difficulty of weeding it when it grew between flagstones):

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 11:47PM
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rcheng(Z6 OH)

Great! Thank you very much for the information.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 3:15PM
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Yes, on ID! Now, how do I get rid of it! It's all over the place.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 7:46PM
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njoasis, you can pot it up in 4" pots and sell it for $6 a plant, as I saw at a posh nursery a year or two ago... :-) ...and yes, I rolled my eyes, having just yanked out a half-cubic-yard of it from my garden...

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 7:54PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

I should have mentioned that Purslane is a succulent with fleshy stem and leaves, while Spotted spurge is most definitely not a succulent (its leaves are paper-thin).

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 9:08PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Catspa, you probably saw Portulaca umbraticola for sale if plants were in the ornamental section. The leaves of that plant look just like purslane (P. oleracea) but the flowers are bigger, and come in other colors besides yellow.

Njoasis, if you cut the plants off at the soil surface, individually or with a weed trimmer (before there are ripe seeds,) you should have a reduction in their numbers next year. Purslane is an annual.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 9:03AM
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