Portulaca oleracea L.


Sp. Pl. 445 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Uncertain

Prostrate, often reddish annual with stems to c. 20 cm long. Leaves obovate to cuneate, 5–30 mm long, 5–15 mm wide; axillary hairs c. 1 mm long. Flowers in condensed, head-like cymes of 2–several, opening briefly, or some apparently not opening; sepals ovate, 3–6 mm long, acute, keeled, fleshy, the outer largely enveloping the inner; petals yellow or greenish, obovate, 3–7 mm long; stamens 8–15; stigmatic arms 3–6. Capsule obtusely 2- or 4-angled; seeds c. 1 mm diam., blackish, dorsally tuberculate in rows. Flowers Dec.–Mar.

CVU, EGU, GipP, Gold, HNF, HSF, MuF, MuM, MSB, NIS, OtP, RobP, VRiv, VVP, Wim. All States. Almost cosmopolitan. A common summer and early autumn weed of open situations in gardens, paddocks, vacant land etc., but seldom collected and undoubtedly more widespread than records indicate. Doubtfully native anywhere in Victoria, but apparently native in central and northern Australia.

As currently accepted, a variable species, possibly containing several native and exotic components which may be worthy of formal recognition.

Portulaca grandiflora Hook., is a tender, summer-flowering annual with terete leaves c. 1–2 cm long, and yellow, reddish or purplish flowers to c. 3 cm diam. It is commonly grown as a garden subject and may self-seed from year to year, but is not known to have become naturalised anywhere in Victoria.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1996). Portulacaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-03-07
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Caryophyllanae
family Portulacaceae
genus Portulaca
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Portulaca oleracea in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Portulaca oleracea in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present uncertain
Wimmera present uncertain
Victorian Volcanic Plain present uncertain
Victorian Riverina present uncertain
Murray Scroll Belt present uncertain
Robinvale Plains present uncertain
Murray Fans present uncertain
Gippsland Plain present uncertain
Otway Plain present uncertain
Goldfields present uncertain
Central Victorian Uplands present uncertain
Northern Inland Slopes present uncertain
East Gippsland Uplands present uncertain
Highlands-Southern Fall present uncertain
Highlands-Northern Fall present uncertain

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory