E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Lythrum portula (L.) D.A. Webb
European water-purslane (spatulaleaf loosestrife)
Lythraceae (Loosestrife family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Hans Roemer  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #26140)

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Distribution of Lythrum portula
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a fibrous root, often rooting at the nodes; stems prostrate to decumbent, branching at the base, 4-angled, reddish, glabrous, 5-25 cm long.
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves opposite, fleshy, oblong to more or less egg-shaped, widest towards the tip, abruptly narrowing to the stalk, 5-10 mm long.
Inflorescence of single, broadly bell-shaped, unstalked, axillary flowers; hypanthium broadly bell-shaped, 1-2 mm tall; petals usually 4 or lacking, white to rose, not showy, about 1 mm long.
Capsules, spherical; seeds round.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist riverbanks and disturbed areas in the lowland zone; rare in SW BC; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Peplis portula L.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References