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Portulaca oleracea
Portulaca oleracea (Purslane, Portulaca)
Portulacaceae (Portulaca Family)

Foothills. Fields, lawns, disturbed areas. Summer.
Near Yellow Jacket Canyon, August 25, 2005.

Purslane is an alien species that spreads prolifically in gardens, lawns, and open sandy soils.  It is very successful at sprouting from just the smallest piece of root or leaf. 

Leaves and stems are often purple/red. Stems can extend several feet. The plant can be found from about 3,700' to a bit over 8,000'. Although the plant has commonly been used as a potherb, it can prove dangerous for it contains oxalates.

Linnaeus named this genus in 1753 giving it an old Latin name, now of unknown meaning.  "Oleracea" is Latin for "vegetables", referring to this plant's common use as a salad green.

Portulaca oleracea
Portulaca oleracea (Purslane, Portulaca)
Portulacaceae (Portulaca Family)

Foothills. Fields, lawns, disturbed areas. Summer.
Near Yellow Jacket Canyon, August 25, 2005.

Portulaca oleracea
Portulaca oleracea (Purslane, Portulaca)
Portulacaceae (Portulaca Family)

Foothills. Fields, lawns, disturbed areas. Summer.
Near Yellow Jacket Canyon, August 25, 2005.

Portulaca oleracea
Portulaca oleracea (Purslane, Portulaca)
Portulacaceae (Portulaca Family)

Foothills. Fields, lawns, disturbed areas. Summer.
Prater Ridge Trail, Mesa Verde National Park, August 13, 2005.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Portulaca oleracea