Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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Portulaca oleracea L.

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Portulaca oleracea

Image 1
10 Apr 2009

Portulaca oleracea

Image 2
26 Feb 2011

Portulaca oleracea

Image 3
Habit (close-up)
26 Feb 2011

Portulaca oleracea

Image 4
25 Mar 2008

Portulaca oleracea

Image 5
Leaves and red stems
25 Mar 2008

Family: Portulacaceae
Full name: Portulaca oleracea L.
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Porslein, Porselein, Varkkos, Gewone porslein, Porselane, Porstelein, Bobbejaandraad, Beespors(e)lein, Rooipootjieporselein, Varkslaai, Misbredie, Snotterbel
English common name(s): Common purslane, Purslane, Wild purslane, Pruslane (?), Pigweed, Pusley, Pussley, Kitchen-garden purslane
Synonym(s): -
Status: Native
Description: Prostrate, succulent annual, branches up to 30 cm. Leaves alternate, sessile, glabrous, broadly rounded, usually crowded near the ends of branches. Flowers terminal, 1-5, bright yellow, surrounded by a cluster of leaves. (from Flora of Zimbabwe website)

Annual herb, stems usually spreading or prostrate, up to 30 cm long, often reddish. Leaves alternate to subopposite, obovate/spathulate to oblong, up to 30 x 12 mm, base attenuate into obscure petiole, tip rounded; axils with a few inconspicuous hairs to 1 mm long, often soon lost. Flowers up to 5 together within involucre of leaf-like bracts and an inner whorl of triangular scales, often apparently lateral or in fork of branch because of overtopping by later growth. Sepals 2–4 mm long, fleshy, keeled or winged near tips. Petals 5, dull yellow, 4–8 mm long, tip rounded. Stamens 7–12. Stigma 3–6-lobed. Capsule ovoid to obovoid, splitting near or just below middle; lid hemispherical, usually with narrow, more strongly veined extension at tip which retains a few seeds within it. Seeds many, c. 1 mm long, glossy black with no metallic sheen; testa cells conspicuously stellate, dorsal cells usually with conspicuous swollen-tipped peg-like tubercles. (from JSTOR Global Plants website)

Prostrate, much-branched, succulent annual forming a spreading mat, or infrequently ascending, stems and leaves green or flushed red. Leaves alternate, subopposite on the branchlets, narrowly obovate to spatulate, 5–30 mm long, 3–10 mm wide, apex rounded, cuneate to a petiole 1–3 mm long; axillary hairs 0.6–1 mm long, inconspicuous, old stems glabrescent. Flowers in sessile clusters of 3–8 at the branch tips, encircled by several involucral leaves enclosing ovate-cuspidate scales, frequently overtopped by subsequent growth from the axils of the lower two involucral leaves, the flower-cluster thus seated in a fork, flowers opening in the morning. Sepals (2.5–)3–4.5(–5.5) mm long, crested and winged along the midline upwards; petals 5, yellow (very rarely pale pink), 3–8 mm long, emarginate to bilobed; stamens 7–12; stigma 3–6-branched. Capsule dehiscing just below the middle, lid conical, chartaceous, constricted 2/3 up, the apical portion thinner, nipple-like and retaining 1 or more seeds above the constriction; seeds orbicular-reniform, 0.65–1 mm long, black, testa cells stellate, often also tuberculate and/or papillose. (from JSTOR Global Plants website)
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iNaturalist (Namibia / Alex Dreyer)
iNaturalist (Namibia)
iNaturalist (southern Africa)
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Content last updated: 01 Jun 2020

Note: The identification of some of the plants on this website is not 100% certain. Any comments will be highly appreciated. I would also be willing to supply higher resolution images upon request. Please contact me at the e-mail address given below.

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Last updated on 01 Jun 2020

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