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Verdolaga Portulaca oleracea

Previously known as:

  • Portulaca neglecta
  • Portulaca retusa
Phonetic Spelling
por-tew-LAK-uh awl-lur-RAY-see-uh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Common Purslane is an annual succulent in the Portulacaceae family. It has smooth, reddish, mostly prostrate stems and alternate fleshy oval leaves. Leaves tend to be clustered at joints and stem ends. Flowers are small (1/4 inch), yellow, and have five heart-shaped petals that can appear any time of year. They can be found in the cluster of leaves at the stem end and they open only briefly in the morning hours.  After flowering, each flower is replaced by a seed capsule.  The capsules will split open, releasing dark brown to almost black seeds.  In addition to reseeding itself, propagation can be accomplished by placing broken off stems in soil.  These stems will produce roots.

This plant has a taproot and fibrous secondary roots that are able to tolerate poor, compacted soils and drought conditions. 

It is a food source for wildlife.  Varieties of sawfly mine the interior of the leaves or feed on the leaves.  Sparrow eat the seeds, as well as the Prairie Deer Mouse.  Pigs and deer also eat the leaves.  The seeds, when eaten by White-tailed deer, pass through their digestive tract and remain viable.

Insect problems include aphids, gnats, snails and slugs.  In wet areas, it may be affected by stem or root rot.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#full sun#annual#drought tolerant#succulent#weed#edible weed#culinary#summer annual weed#groundcover#edible garden#fantz#warm season weed#dry soils tolerant#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#full sun#annual#drought tolerant#succulent#weed#edible weed#culinary#summer annual weed#groundcover#edible garden#fantz#warm season weed#dry soils tolerant#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Portulaca
    Species:
    oleracea
    Family:
    Portulacaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    This plant has a taproot and fibrous secondary roots that are able to tolerate poor, compacted soils and drought conditions.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Western Asia, Mediterranean, likey ancient anthropogenic disper
    Distribution:
    Global, cosmopolitan
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts flowers flies, small bees and beetles, sparrow, deer. Low use as food for large mammals.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    Stems, leaves, and flowers are edible and have a slightly sour and salty taste. It cooks similar to spinach. It is eaten throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Mexico. Is edible and very nutritious because it contains high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, significant amounts of vitamins A and C and anti-oxidants. Leaves, stems and flowers can be eaten raw, as in a salad, or boiled. Taste is sour or tart and salty. Mucilaginous quality works to thicken soups or stews. Seeds are also edible.Contains oxalates that can be toxic in if eaten in high amounts.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Ground Cover
    Succulent
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Horizontal
    Prostrate
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    An egg-shaped capsule that will scatter tiny, black, shiny seed when it splits open.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are small (1/4 inch), yellow, and have five heart-shaped petals that can appear any time of year. They can be found in the cluster of leaves at the stem end and they open only briefly in the morning hours.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Spatulate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Smooth, fleshy (thick and succulent) oval leaves that tend to be clustered at joints and stem ends. In bright sunlight, the leaves can take on a tinge of reddish-purple. Young leaves have a maroon tint on the underside.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are round, thick and succulent. They can be light green to reddish-brown in color. Each stem has multiple branches that create circular mats.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Riparian
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Dry Soil
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Kidney failure (rare in dogs/cats), tremors, salivation.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Soluble calcium oxalates. Oxalate accumuation, renal problems, hamful to livestock in high amounts
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No