Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

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 pops 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 and so on to obtain more of the beneficial fats. But for some reason we usually don’t see purslane on the list. Oh, that’s right… it’s a weed!!

Eat it raw or cooked - just eat it!

How to identify -  

Leaves- Shiny green, paddle-shaped, about an inch long. 

Stems- Smooth , round and green when young, turning reddish as the plant matures.

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!