Greenhouse studies were conducted to determine the influence of phosphorus (P) concentrations on the growth of lettuce, smooth pigweed, and common purslane in monocultures and in mixtures and to determine the P-absorption rate of each species over time. For the P-competition studies, lettuce–smooth pigweed and lettuce–common purslane mixtures were established in P-less hydroponic solutions. Each lettuce–weed mixture was established separately. Concentrations of P were 10, 20, 40, 80, and 160 mg L−1. Lettuce to weed planting proportions were 2:0, 0:2, and 1:1. In the mixtures, biomass of common purslane increased sharply between 10 and 20 mg P L−1, depressing lettuce growth. No biomass changes were observed in smooth pigweed as P concentration increased. However, both weeds increased their P content within this range, depriving lettuce of this nutrient. Common purslane competed for P for its own growth, whereas smooth pigweed absorbed P luxuriously. For the P-absorption studies, roots of lettuce, smooth pigweed, and common purslane plants were submersed in a 20 mg P L−1 solution for 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 40, 60, 90, 180, 360, 720, and 1,440 min. Common purslane was shown to be the most aggressive species for the nutrient, absorbing 50% of the content in 295 min, whereas lettuce and smooth pigweed needed 766 and 825 min to absorb 10 mg P L−1.
Nomenclature: Common purslane, Portulaca oleracea L. POROL; smooth pigweed, Amaranthus hybridus L. AMACH; lettuce, Lactuca sativa L.