by Stephen Mifsud
   27 Sep 2020      ()
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Portulaca oleracea   (Purslane)

Portulaca oleracea  (PORTULACACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands at or after year 2000.

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Profile Date Oct-2010 (last update: 12-Jan-2019)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (Oct-2010) Portulaca oleracea retrieved from on 2020-Sep-27

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Portulaca oleraceaL.
Published in L., Sp. Pl. 445 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

No Main Synonyms
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life ]

Plant Family :

Portulacaceae Juss. (The Purslane Family)
1 species from the Portulacaceae family is recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Purslane, Little Hogweed

Maltese name(s) :


Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common     Frequent     Scarce     Rare     Very rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: THEROPHYTE (annuals)
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection [link]:

Not Protected by Law (LN200/2011 or LN311/2006)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :


Colour of Flowers:


Remarks :

A Summer flowering plant which have yellow flowers that close late in the morning. It is used for its seeds as a food for some cage birds. The plant produces large quantity of seeds which are highly germinative and hence this can lead to invasivness of sites that it grows well, namely disturbed ground near arable sites.

Species Description and Distribution

Habitat in Europe:

Cultivated as a vegetable (Purslane), and a weed of cultivation.

Preferred habitat in Malta:

Data will be available in the next update of this website.

Botanical Description:

Annual with branched stems 10-50 cm. Leaves mostly scattered and alternate, but subopposite and crowded below flowers, oblong-obovate, sessile with a cuneate base, shining. Flowers solitary or 2 or 3 together,often terminal. Sepals c. 4 mm, keeled, united into a short tube at the base; petals 5, 6-8 mm, yellow, obovate, slightly united; stamens 7-12. Capsule 3-9 mm, obovoid; seeds black.

Distributional range:

Europe, northwards to c. 55° N. Not native, except perhaps in parts of the south casual only in N. Europe.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):

Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):

Albania, Austria and Liechtenstein, the Azores, the Balaeric Islands, Bulgaria, Corse, Crete, Czeck Republic and Slovakia, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Hungary, Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Romania, Russia and former USSR, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part), Introduced in  Belgium, Britain (excl. Northern Ireland and Channel islands), the Netherlands, Poland

Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(Euro+Med Checklist, 2017) - Country codes

AE Au(A) Be(B) Bl(I M N) Cy Eg Ga(F) Ge Gr He Hs Hu Ir It Lu Ma Sa Si(M S) Sn Sr Tn Tu(E) [Ca(T) aFe nHs(S) nLu nPo]

Images (5 images)
   Portulaca oleracea   -   Image Code: PRTOL-0.
   Portulaca oleracea   -   Image Code: PRTOL-1.
   Portulaca oleracea   -   Image Code: PRTOL-2.
   Portulaca oleracea   -   Image Code: PRTOL-3.
   Portulaca oleracea   -   Image Code: PRTOL-4.

Links & Further info

Google Web

Google Images

Yahoo Web

Yahoo Images




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



The Plant List


Vienna Virt. Hb.





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