Colors

Data mode

Account

Login
Sign up

Copy permalink to share

Portulaca oleracea Linnaeus. Common Purslane, Garden Purslane, Pussley, Pursley, Duckweed. Phen: May-Nov. Hab: Gardens, disturbed areas, cracks in sidewalks; partly native in our area (different genotypes, sometimes treated as varieties, subspecies, or species, appear to have different areas of origin but are now widely distributed by introduction).

Origin/Endemic status: Europe

Taxonomy Comments: The appropriate taxonomic treatment of variation in P. oleracea s.l. remains unclear (also see P. nicaruagensis, here treated at species rank, but often synonymized under or treated as a subspecies of P. oleracea). In North America, P. oleracea (in the broad sense) is a widespread, sometimes noxious weed, probably representing native and introduced genotypes, treated as multiple subspecies by some authors. In North America, these genotypes appear to have intermixed; in our area (at least), the recognition of infraspecific taxa has been considered unwarranted, difficult, and unmeaningful (see Matthews, Ketron, & Zane 1993); see Danin & Anderson (1986) for a contrasting opinion. In our region, P. oleracea ssp. oleracea may be quite rare, and perhaps only as an alien waif on ballast near old ports; it is distinguished by seeds mostly > 0.85 mm long, with umbonate stellulae elongate along radial axes of the seed. Ssp. granulostellata is most common and widespread across the region; it is distinguished by smaller seeds (mostly < 0.85 mm long), irregular stellulae, strongly papillate at the ends of the stellula lobes. Ssp. papillostellulata is somewhat similar, but has larger seeds (mostly > 0.85 mm long), and apparently occurs mostly or strictly west of the Mississippi River. Ssp. nitida has smaller seeds (mostly < 0.85 mm long) with stellulae of the seed coats umbonate and long-armed; it is scattered in our area. Ssp. stellata has larger seeds (mostly > 0.85 mm long), with stellulae flattish, long-armed, and interdigitated; it is certainly known in our area only from the FL peninsula. See Danin, Baker, & Baker (1978) for details.

Other Comments: During the Great Depression, P. oleracea (in the broadest sense) was eaten extensively in the Valley of Virginia and elsewhere in our region as a potherb.

Synonymy: = NY, Walter, Vekslyarska, & Dobeš (2015); > Portulaca neglecta Mack. & Bush – F; < Portulaca oleracea L. – Ar, Bah, C, FNA4, G, Il, K1, K3, K4, Mi, NcTx, NE, Pa, RAB, S, S13, Tat, Tn, Va, W, WH3, WV, Bradley, Matthews, & Anderson (2019) in Weakley et al (2019a), Matthews & Levins (1985a), Matthews, Ketron, & Zane (1993); > Portulaca oleracea L. – F, GrPl, Tx; > Portulaca oleracea L. ssp. granulatostellata (Poelln.) Danin & H.G.Baker – Danin & Anderson (1986); > Portulaca oleracea L. ssp. granulato-stellata (Poelln.) Danin & H.G.Baker – Danin, Baker, & Baker (1978), orthographic variant; > Portulaca oleracea L. ssp. impolita Danin & H.G.Baker – Danin, Baker, & Baker (1978); > Portulaca oleracea L. ssp. nitida Danin & H.G.Baker – Danin & Anderson (1986), Danin, Baker, & Baker (1978); > Portulaca oleracea L. ssp. oleracea – Danin, Baker, & Baker (1978); > Portulaca oleracea L. ssp. papillato-stellata Danin & H.G.Baker – Danin, Baker, & Baker (1978), orthographic variant; > Portulaca oleracea L. ssp. papillatostellulata Danin & H.G.Baker – Danin & Anderson (1986); > Portulaca retusa Engelm. – F, GrPl, Tx; > Portulaca oleracea L. ssp. stellata Danin & H.G.Baker – Danin & Anderson (1986), Danin, Baker, & Baker (1978)

Show in key(s)

Show parent genus

Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: FACU (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: FAC
  • Great Plains: FAC (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Midwest: FACU (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Northcentral & Northeast: FACU (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)

Heliophily: 8

Your browser does not support SVGs

Hover over a shape, letter, icon, or arrow on the map for definition or see the legend.

image of plant© John Gwaltney | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Herbert L. Amyx | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© John Gwaltney | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© John Gwaltney | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© John Gwaltney | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© John Gwaltney | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© John Gwaltney | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© John Gwaltney | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Herbert L. Amyx | Original Image ⭷

Feedback

See something wrong or missing on about Portulaca oleracea? Let us know here: (Please include your name and email if at all complicated so we can clarify if needed.)


Cite as...