Latin porto—to carry, lac—milk, in reference to the milky sap.
Mostly spreading annual succulent herbs with tuberous roots. Leaves fleshy, often with axillary hairs or scales. Flowers single, terminal, stalkless. Sepals 2. Petals 6-7 or more. Stamens 7 or more; mostly summer and autumn. Ovary partly inferior with many ovules. Stigmas 3-9. Fruit a capsule opening by a lid.
116 species, mostly tropical.
Source: (1997). Portulacaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.