PURSLANE, Portulaca oleracea L. 1, entire plant showing fleshy stems, prostrate growth habit; 2, flower; 3, pods; 4, seed. Annual, reproducing by seed. Root system fibrous. Stems juicy, smooth, often reddish, either completely prostrate or turned up at the ends, sometimes forming mats 1 foot (30 cm) or more in diameter. Leaves alternate or clustered, simple, juicy, and smooth. Flowers small, yellow, in axils of leaves and branches. Seeds small, flattened, broadly oval, glossy black. Seeds require warm soil to germinate. Found in fields and waste places. Especially troublesome in gardens and truck crops. The fleshy stems and leaves make this plant drouth-resistant, difficult to kill.