Purslane is a prostrate, fleshy, succulent summer annual that is able to tolerate poor, compacted soils and drought. Common purslane is a common weed of gardens, horticultural and agronomic crops and is found throughout the United States.

The mature plant may form a mat or grow up to 1' tall. The plant branches at the base and along the stems. Leaves are opposite or alternate along the stem and are without petioles. Small yellow flowers are born singly or in clusters of 2 - 3 in stem axils or at tips of stems. Flowers usually open only on sunny mornings. Purslane seeds are very tiny and produced in abundance.

Purslane is a problem weed in flower and vegetable gardens, where it competes with desirable plants for moisture. It's also frequently seen in newly-seeded lawns. Stems and leaves often have a reddish-purple tint, and the small yellow flowers open only on bright sunny days. Purslane thrives when it has plenty of moisture. It also can survive in dry spots, although it may be less vigorous and have smaller leaves.

Herbicides such as Roundup, and 2,4-D sprayed on this weed can be effective, but seeds may mature before the herbicide kills the plant. Purslane rarely develops in mulched areas, and mulch placed over purslane usually smothers it out.