Spurge vs Purslane: Comparing Two Common Weeds

We use affiliate links in this article. And, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for your support.

Welcome to the ultimate guide on Spurge vs Purslane! In this article, we’ll be exploring the differences between these two types of plants. We’ll examine their physical characteristics, where they grow best, and how you can use them in landscaping or gardening projects.

By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of both plants and know which one is right for your needs. So let’s get started!

What is Spurge?

Spurge (Euphorbia spp.) is a broadleaf, herbaceous weed that is closely related to milkweed and dandelion. It can be found in nearly every state in the U.S. and most of Canada.

Spurge has a long taproot and produces a milky sap when cut. The sap can cause skin irritation in some people. Spurge can grow up to two feet tall and has small, oval-shaped leaves that are arranged in pairs along the stem. The leaves are dark green with a white or light green midrib. Spurge produces small, yellowish-green flowers that grow in clusters at the ends of the stems. The flowers turn into seed pods that contain tiny, black seeds.

What is Purslane?

Purslane is a succulent plant that grows in many parts of the world. The leaves and stems are edible and have a slightly sour taste. Purslane is often used in salads or as a garnish. Purslane is high in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, and magnesium. It also contains more omega-3 fatty acids than any other plant-based food.

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is a succulent weed and not welcomed by many gardeners, as it has the ability to spread quickly and take over a garden. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate drought and heat.

Spurge vs Purslane

Spurge (Euphorbia spp.) and purslane (Portulaca oleracea) are both common weeds in North America.

Though both spurge and purslane are considered weeds, there are a few similarities between the two. They are both low-growing plants that tend to spread quickly. They also both have small, oval-shaped leaves and produce small, white flowers.

They can be difficult to distinguish from one another, but there are some key differences. Spurge is a member of the Euphorbiaceae family, while purslane is a member of the Portulacaceae family.

Spurge typically has milky sap, while purslane does not. Spurge leaves are usually arranged in pairs or whorls of three, while purslane leaves are opposite each other on the stem.

Spurge flowers are small and clustered, while purslane flowers are larger and solitary.

Spurge and purslane can both be problematic weeds in the garden. They are both aggressive growers and can crowd out other plants.

They are also both tolerant of poor soil conditions and drought. If you’re trying to control these weeds, it’s important to identify them correctly so you can choose the most effective control method.

Similarities between Spurge and Purslane

Spurge vs Purslane

Despite their differences, Spurge and Purslane do share some similarities. Both are considered weeds and can be found in gardens, lawns, and other outdoor spaces. They both have the ability to grow and spread quickly, which can make them difficult to control. Additionally, both plants are edible and have been used for medicinal purposes in traditional medicine.

Why have they considered weeds?

Spurge and Purslane are considered weeds because they are invasive and can quickly spread throughout an area. They often outcompete other plants for nutrients and resources, which can lead to a decline in biodiversity. Additionally, they can be difficult to control, which can be frustrating for homeowners and gardeners.

The impact of Spurge and Purslane on the environment

The impact of Spurge and Purslane on the environment can be significant. These plants can outcompete native plants for resources, which can lead to a decline in biodiversity. Additionally, they can alter the soil chemistry and contribute to soil erosion. They can also impact wildlife by altering their habitats and food sources.

Spurge and Purslane on the environment


In conclusion, while spurge and purslane may both be common weeds found in lawns and gardens, they have distinct differences in appearance, growth habits, and uses. Spurge is a low-growing, branching weed with milky sap that can cause skin irritation, while purslane has succulent leaves and stems that are edible and even considered a superfood.

When it comes to controlling these weeds, prevention is key. Maintaining healthy soil and properly watering your plants can help prevent weed growth. If you do find spurge or purslane in your lawn or garden, hand-pulling or using herbicides labeled for their control can effectively eliminate them.

While these weeds may be a nuisance to some, it’s important to remember that they are also a part of nature and can provide ecological benefits such as soil stabilization and food for pollinators. By understanding the differences between spurge and purslane, we can make informed decisions on how to manage them in our landscapes.

Thank you for reading this article and we hope you found it informative and helpful in your weed management endeavors.

About Tom Reynolds

My name is Tom Reynolds, and I like lawn mowing. When I was a kid, I used to help my dad in cutting grass using a reel mower, now, I have my own 6 different lawn mowers. Keeping my lawn healthy and beautiful gives me satisfaction, and I still enjoy working in my lawn.