Spurge vs Purslane: [Comparison Article]

Are you tired of weeds taking over your garden? Do you want to know how to differentiate between spurge and purslane and which one to keep in your garden?

Look no further because we’ve got you covered. In this article, we will discuss the differences between spurge and purslane, how to identify them, and which one to keep in your garden.

Spurge vs Purslane

What is Spurge?

Spurge is a common weed that can be found in gardens and lawns. It belongs to the Euphorbia family and has over 2,000 species. Some of the common species of spurge are spotted spurge, creeping spurge, and prostrate spurge.

How to Identify Spurge?

Here are some characteristics that can help you identify spurge:

  • Spurge has a milky sap that can cause skin irritation, so wear gloves when handling it.
  • The stem of spurge is thin and wiry.
  • The leaves of spurge are small and oval-shaped, arranged in a spiral pattern around the stem.
  • Spurge has small green or yellow flowers.

What is Purslane?

Purslane is a succulent plant that is native to India and Persia. It is also known as Portulaca oleracea and can be found in gardens, lawns, and agricultural fields.

How to Identify Purslane?

Here are some characteristics that can help you identify purslane:

  • Purslane has thick and fleshy leaves that are arranged in a rosette pattern.
  • The leaves of purslane are smooth and shiny, and they can vary in color from green to red.
  • Purslane has small yellow flowers that bloom in the morning and close in the afternoon.

Spurge vs Purslane: Which One to Keep in Your Garden?

Now that you know how to identify spurge and purslane, you might be wondering which one to keep in your garden. Here are some factors that can help you make an informed decision:

Nutritional Value

Purslane is an edible plant that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and E. It is also low in calories and can be used in salads, soups, and stir-fries.

Spurge, on the other hand, is not edible and can be harmful if ingested. It can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, and digestive problems.

Aesthetic Value

Purslane has a beautiful and vibrant appearance that can add color and texture to your garden. Its succulent leaves and yellow flowers can complement other plants and create a harmonious environment.

Spurge, on the other hand, has a weedy and invasive appearance that can detract from the beauty of your garden. Its wiry stems and small leaves can make it difficult to remove, and its milky sap can cause skin irritation.

Invasive Potential

Spurge is a fast-growing weed that can spread quickly and compete with other plants for nutrients and water. It can also produce a large number of seeds that can germinate and grow into new plants.

Purslane, on the other hand, is not as invasive as spurge and can be easily controlled by pulling it out or cutting it back.

Environmental Impact

Spurge can have a negative impact on the environment by outcompeting native plants, reducing biodiversity, and altering the soil composition. It can also be harmful to wildlife that feeds on it.

Pest and Disease Resistance

Purslane is known for its pest and disease resistance, making it a low-maintenance plant to have in your garden. It can also attract beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies, which can help pollinate other plants.

Spurge, on the other hand, is susceptible to pests and diseases such as aphids, spider mites, and powdery mildew. This can make it challenging to keep spurge healthy and thriving in your garden.


Q: Can spurge be harmful to humans or pets?

A: Yes, spurge can be harmful if ingested or if its sap comes into contact with the skin. It can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, and digestive problems.

Q: Can purslane be grown in containers?

A: Yes, purslane can be grown in containers as long as they have good drainage and are exposed to sunlight. It is a low-maintenance plant that can thrive in various soil conditions.

Q: How do I remove spurge from my garden?

A: Spurge can be removed by pulling it out or cutting it back. Make sure to wear gloves when handling spurge to avoid skin irritation from its sap.


In conclusion, the decision to keep spurge or purslane in your garden depends on several factors such as nutritional value, aesthetic value, invasive potential, environmental impact, and pest and disease resistance.

Purslane is a nutritious and attractive plant that can be a valuable addition to your garden, while spurge is a weedy and invasive plant that can be harmful to humans and pets.

With this information, you can make an informed decision and create a beautiful and healthy garden.

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