Portulaca oleracea

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: little hogweed 
Type: Annual
Family: Portulacaceae
Native Range: Cosmopolitan
Zone: 2 to 11
Height: 0.25 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to frost
Bloom Description: Orange, yellow, red, pink and white (Cultivars)
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil


Annual. Easily grown in poor to average, dry to moderately moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Drought tolerant. Sow seed directly in the garden after last frost date, or start indoors 6-8 weeks earlier. Set out seedlings and purchased plants at last frost date. Plants may self-seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Portulaca oleracea is commonly known as purslane or moss rose. Although purslane is grown as a vegetable (stems and leaves) in some parts of the world, many American gardeners know it best as a prostrate, summer annual lawn weed that produces small non-showy yellow flowers. It is only certain large-flowered cultivars that elevate this plant into the realm of the ornamental. Those cultivars feature 2” diameter flowers in orange, yellow, red, pink, white and bicolors. Plants typically grow 4-8” tall and spread to 15” wide. Flowers bloom summer to frost. Flowers do not open on cloudy or rainy days. Spatulate to ovate, flat, fleshy leaves (to 1.25” long). Some plants sold in commerce as cultivars of P. oleracea are actually P. umbraticola.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for P. oleracea.

Specific epithet means of the vegetable garden.


No serious insect or disease problems. Potential insect pests include aphids, gnats, snails and slugs. Stem and root rot may occur in overly moist soils.


Good for poor dry soils where many other plants struggle. Edging or ground cover for beds, rock gardens or along walks. Containers, hanging baskets. Sprawl over stone walls.