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Is this purslane?

Posted by rcheng Z6 OH (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 22:57

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.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Is this purslane?

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):

RE: Is this purslane?

Great! Thank you very much for the information.

RE: Is this purslane?

Yes, on ID! Now, how do I get rid of it! It's all over the place.

RE: Is this purslane?

  • Posted by catspa NoCA Z9 Sunset 14 (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 19:54

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...

RE: Is this purslane?

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).

RE: Is this purslane?

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.

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