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©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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PORTULACACEAE

PURSLANE FAMILY

Annual or perennial herb, generally fleshy
Stems generally glabrous
Leaves simple, alternate or opposite, sometimes stipuled
Inflorescence various
Flower bisexual, radial; sepals generally 2(–8), free or fused at base; petals 3–18, free or ± fused; stamens 1–many, free or inserted on corolla; ovary superior or partly inferior, chamber 1, placenta free-central or basal; styles 2–8, generally fused at base
Fruit: capsule, circumscissile or 2–3-valved
Seeds 1–many, generally black, generally shiny
Genera in family: ± 20 genera, ± 400 species: generally temp Am, Australia, s Africa; some cultivated (Lewisia, Portulaca, Calandrinia )
Reference: [Bogle 1969 J Arnold Arbor 50:566–598]
Family description and key to genera by Dieter H. Wilken & Walter A. Kelley.

PORTULACA

Walter A. Kelley

Annual, ± fleshy
Stems several–many, spreading to erect
Leaves simple, alternate or opposite, upper 2–5 forming involucre; blade linear, ovate, or spoon-shaped, flat or cylindric
Inflorescence: flowers solitary or in clusters at stem tips
Flower: sepals 2, fused at base, lower portion fused to ovary and persistent in fruit; petals 4–6, inserted on calyx, yellow; stamens 4–20; ovary ± inferior, 1-chambered; style 3–6-branched
Fruit: capsule, circumscissile
Seeds many, reniform, ± tuberculate
Species in genus: 100 species: warm regions worldwide
Etymology: (Probably Latin: small gate or door, from capsule lid)
Reference: [Matthews & Levins 1985 Sida 11(1):45–61]

Introduced

P. oleracea L.

COMMON PURSLANE


Stem spreading
Leaf 5–30 mm, ovate to spoon-shaped, generally flat
Inflorescence: flowers solitary or in clusters of 2–5 at stem tips
Flower: sepals 3–5 mm, green or reddish, generally keeled; petals 3–5 mm, yellow; stamens 5–20; style 4–6-branched
Fruit 3–8 mm wide
Seed 0.6–1 mm wide, dark brown to black
Chromosomes: 2n=36,54
Ecology: Disturbed soil
Elevation: < 1400 m.
Bioregional distribution: California
Distribution outside California: native to Europe
Flowering time: May–Sep
Synonyms: P. retusa Engelm

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bioregional map for PORTULACA%20oleracea being generated
 
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Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Portulaca oleracea
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