Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

Purslane

One of my favorite weeds!


A while back I came to the realization that this summer visitor to my veggie garden was really a volunteer crop.  


Purslane tends to pop up in places with lots of sun and enough moisture.

A super nutritious "weed"

The nutritionist in me is blown away by the fact  that wild purslane is more nutritious that most of the vegetables I  grow on purpose.

And free for the picking!

We’re told to eat more fish, flaxseed, etc. to obtain the good omega-3 fats that we need more of.


But for some reason we usually don’t see purslane on that list. 


Oh, that’s right… it’s a weed!


But fact is, it's loaded with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.

Eat it raw or cooked - just eat it!

 How to identify -  

  • Leaves- Glossy green, paddle-shaped, about an inch long. 
  • Stems- Green when young, turning reddish as the plant matures.  Smooth and round

So, when you find it in your garden...

...just nurture it and harvest it like your other veggies.


If it starts crowding out other plants, just harvest a little harder! 


Purslane does tend to be “weedy” when it’s in a happy location.

A word of caution...

A plant called spurge (Chamaesyce spp.) sometimes grows near purslane. Spurge is poisonous.


But spurge is not succulent, it has thinner stems, and the sap is milky white.  They don’t look all that similar, but just be careful. 


(See it there on the right? That is spotted spurge.)


Just be careful - once you know purslane, you know it.  


Happy foraging!!