More Weeds in Phoenix: Purslane and Goathead

Purslane and GoatheadLike other weeds, these may offer some benefits.  But they also have the ability to quickly crowd out what you intend to grow, and can quickly overtake your garden.

You may know Goathead (Tribulus terrestris) by the damage it does. Its spiny burs can damage wool, hide out in hay, and puncture feet and tires.  For that reason, it’s also known as Puncturevine.

It’s really tough to get rid of because the seeds can lie dormant in the soil for up to five years.  So the best thing to do is to simply pull it out, roots and all.

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is a much more fun weed.  It has thick, fleshy succulent leaves and blooms yellow flowers.  Its seeds also lie dormant in the soil for years before germinating.  I’ve actually grown Purslane in containers (not the weeding variety) and I understand that Purslane can be eaten.  I think it’s weird to eat a weed, but if I think of it as a plant, it becomes much more palatable!

Both plants were introduced from Europe…again, the reason why we need to leave the plants where they grow!


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