Portulaca oleracea – Little Hogweed
Scientific Name: Portulaca oleracea
Synonyms: Portulaca neglecta, P. retusa
Common Names: Little Hogweed, Common Purslane, Garden Purslane, Green Purslane, Pursley, Wild Portulaca
Growth Habit: Herb/Forb
Arizona Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized weed is native to Europe.
Habitat: Desert, Upland, Mountain, Riparian
Flower Color: Yellow
Flowering Season: Summer, Fall (early)
Height: Prostrate, trailing up to 2 feet (61 cm) long
Description: The flowers are 1/4 inch (6 mm) across and have 5 notched petals. The leaves have reddish margins and are green, plump, fleshy, oval to spoon-shaped, and broadest near their rounded tips. The stems can take root at the nodes and are trailing, succulent, and reddish in color. Stressed plants may have bright orange or hot pink stems. The plants grow from a taproot and are low-growing, spreading, and mat-forming.
Edible – The leaves and young stems are edible either raw or cooked as a potherb. The leaves are rich in iron. The seeds are very small, but are also edible. This plant does contain oxalic acid, so consume in moderation.
Legal Status – Arizona State-listed Noxious Weed (Prohibited Noxious Weed, Regulated Noxious Weed)
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Portulacaceae – Purslane family
Genus: Portulaca L. – purslane
Species: Portulaca oleracea L. – little hogweed
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