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.