Is this an invasive weed?

Asked June 26, 2013, 11:47 PM EDT

Greetings! In an attempt to xeriscape our yard in Longmont, we've recently killed and tilled a patch of lawn. In the wake of our tilling, we've had a massive and rapid growth of the plant pictured in the attachment. We believe it's a kind of spurge (spotted?), but are just wondering whether we should let it grow or rein it in. It looks quite lovely and is spreading wonderfully, so we'd love to keep it, if it isn't a hazard. Would love any advice. Thank you in advance!

Boulder County Colorado noxious weeds purslane portulaca

2 Responses

The photo appears to be purslane or Portulaca oleracea. Like many plants, it may be a weed or a desirable (and edible) plant, depending on your point of view. It is easily smothered by mulching (especially lasagne mulch: newsprint covered by wood mulch). In removing the lawn, you probably exposed some seed to sunlight which is why it sprouted.

If you like how it looks, why not keep it around and try a few recipes? Here are a couple of links you may be interested in:

http://www.canadiangardening.com/plants/native-plants-and-wildflowers/purslane-an-edible-groundcover/a/31791/

http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/homeowners/030726.html

Thank you for your quick and encouraging response! We look forward to cultivating the purslane and allowing it to replace our thirsty lawn. We're very excited by this news, and grateful for your help! -- Best, Eryc