IMPORTANT: a similar plant named "hairy-stemmed spurge" is poisonous. Click here for more information.
Purslane is a succulent annual trailing plant that grows in many countries because it thrives in poor soil. It can be eaten as a cooked vegetable and is great to use in salads, soups, stews or any dish you wish to sprinkle it over. Purslane is antibacterial, antiscorbutic, depurative, diuretic and febrifuge. The leaves are a very rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which prevents heart attacks and strengthens the immune system.
Distinguishing Features: This nutritious weed has a distinctive thick, reddish stem and succulent, green leaves.
Flowers: Purslane has yellow flowers that occur singly or in small terminal clusters. When fully open, each flower is about .5 cm(¼") across, consisting of five petals, two green sepals, numerous yellow stamens, and several pistils that appear together in the centre of the flower. These flowers open up for a few hours during bright sunny mornings. Purslane flowers bloom from mid-summer through the early fall and lasts about 1 to 2 months. Each flower is replaced by a seed capsule that splits open around the middle to release the numerous small, black seeds.
Leaves: Leaves are spoon-like in shape and are succulent (fleshy).
Height: Purslane tends to be trailing plant and can grow to 10 cm in height.
Habitat: Purslane is often found thriving in the cracks of sidewalks and driveways even during summer's heat. It often pops up in container gardens, flowerbeds, gardens, fields, waste ground and roadside.
Edible parts: Leaves, stems and flower buds.
Other name: Portulaca.
Similar plants: Hairy-Stemmed Spurge, which is poisonous. Click here for more information. .
For more in-depth information (e.g. nutrition, medicinal values, recipes, historical information, harvesting tips, etc.) please check out our Purslane PDF magazine.
EdibleWildFood.com is informational in nature. While we strive to be 100% accurate, it is solely up to the reader to ensure proper plant identification. Some wild plants are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects.
We are not health professionals, medical doctors, nor are we nutritionists. It is up to the reader to verify nutritional information and health benefits with qualified professionals for all edible plants listed in this web site. Please click here for more information.