Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A weed to Know: Purslane

Purslane or Portulaca oleracea grows in most every state and most every where. From rich sandy soils to cultivated gardens to cracks in the cement or in flower pots this opportunistic weed is there. This ground hugging plant rarely grows higher than 2 inches in height but can reach up to 12 inches across. The little yellow flowers open only on sunny days. The succulent stems and leaves taste slightly tart. You can chop up the fresh leaves and stems for in salads. It has been used as a food for more than two thousand years in India and Persia. The mucilaginous stems make it a good thickener to add to soups. Here in PA the purslane is out at the beginning of summer so we do not find it on our early Spring weed walks. Besides being tasty purslane is rich in Vitamin A and also provides some iron and vitamin C.

6 comments:

comfrey cottages said...

i love purslane! cool post!! mine is growing luxuriantly this year what with all the good rains! i love mine that volunteers in the garden beds. it makes a living mulch to keep my strawberries off the ground! i happily harvest it to add to salads and stir fries. so good of you to spread the word of this lovely free food. hig in omega 3 also! thanks for posting about purslane! hugs :)

b said...

OMG, that stuff is edible? I have it in my yard and didn't have a clue what it was.....please continue to educate (as well as entertain) us with these great posts.

Elizabeth

parTea lady said...

It is a pretty weed. I don't think I've seen it before, but I'll be looking for it now.

Lady Donna & Miss Spenser said...

Thanks for the photo...amazing what I don't know. Thanks for the mini education!

Donna

Aparna said...

From what I have read, Purslane is also the only vegetable source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Being a vegetarian (who does not eat fish), this is important for me. :-) I found it one year in our local farmers market but ever since no one else stocks it. And the sad part is that I don't see this weed in my garden either.

Aparna

Hootie said...

I had no idea it was edible! I have this growing out front of my house and have been wondering what it is! I keep meaning to look it up, but don't need to now. Thanks for the info! :)