Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is a summer annual that forms a dense mat. The reddish stems (up to 12 inches long) originate from a central rooting point; stems tend to be succulent. Leaves are stalkless, oval, smooth, succulent, shiny, from 1/2 to 2 inches long; opposite or alternate. Flowers are small and yellow with 5 petals.
Introduced from Europe and found throughout state up to 8,500 feet, it is common in vegetable gardens, bare areas, low-maintenance lawns and ornamental plantings.
Biology and spread
A single plant may produce 240,000 seeds.
While sometimes used as a leaf vegetable, purslane can be invasive in vegetable gardens, ornamental plantings, and non-vigorous lawns, especially around edges and corners where turf is thin or worn due to foot traffic.
Cultural, physical and mechanical control: Prevent establishment by using weed-free planting stock and seed and by cleaning mowers, planters and cultivation equipment. Hand weed and mulch; hand pulled plants may re-root but turning upside down after pulling prevents this habit.
Chemical control: Herbicides are generally not necessary if a vigorous turf is maintained.