Edible Super Weeds: Purslane

Updated: Jul 26, 2018

Purslane [Portulaca oleracea]

Growth Habits

Common Name: little hogweed Type: Annual Family: Portulacaceae Native Range: India Zone: 2 to 11 Height: 0.25 to 0.75 feet Spread: 0.50 to 1.50 feet Bloom Time: June to frost Bloom Description: Orange, yellow, red, pink and white (Cultivars) Sun: Full sun Water: Dry to medium Maintenance: Low Suggested Use: Annual, Ground Cover, Naturalize Flower: Showy Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil



Purslane (Portulaca oleraceae L.) is a succulent herb found as a weed throughout the world. [source]. Although purslane is grown as a vegetable (stems and leaves) in some parts of the world, many American gardeners know it best as a prostrate, summer annual lawn weed that produces small non-showy yellow flowers. [source] It is an important component of green salad and its soft stem and leaves are used raw, alone, or with other greens. Purslane is also used for cooking or used as a pickle. [source]


As a significant source of omega-3 oils, P. oleracea could yield considerable health benefits to vegetarian and other diets where the consumption of fish oils is excluded. Scientific analysis of its chemical components has shown that this common weed has uncommon nutritional value, making it one of the potentially important foods for the future. Presence of high content of antioxidants (vitamins A and C, alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene, and glutathione) and omega-3 fatty acids and its wound healing and antimicrobial effects as well as its traditional use in the topical treatment of inflammatory conditions suggest that purslane is a highly likely candidate as a useful cosmetic ingredient. [source]

Its medicinal value is evident from its use for treatment of burns, headache, and diseases related to the intestine, liver, stomach, cough, shortness of breath, and arthritis. Its use as a purgative, cardiac tonic, emollient, muscle relaxant, and anti-inflammatory and diuretic treatment makes it important in herbal medicine. Purslane has also been used in the treatment of osteoporosis and psoriasis. [source]

Recent research demonstrates that purslane has better nutritional quality than the major cultivated vegetables, with higher beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, and alpha-linolenic acid. Additionally, purslane has been described as a power food because of its high nutritive and antioxidant properties. Different varieties, harvesting times, and environmental conditions can contribute to purslane's nutritional composition and benefits. Purslane is popular as a traditional medicine in China for the treatment of hypotension and diabetes. Scientifically, it is not proven to have antidiabetic effects, but still people use it for this purpose. [source]


For human consumption, young purslane plants with roots removed are cooked like spinach. They have a pleasant, slightly sour flavor with a somewhat mucilag- inous texture. Because of this mucilaginous quality, young stems are used for thickening soup. They can be mixed with other greens. The succulent young stems and leaves can be pickled in vinegar and sugar. Since purs- lane sometimes grows abundantly in isolated areas, it has value as an emergency food. And because of the high water content, the plants can be eaten raw to quench thirst. Additionally, plants can be harvested all summer (Harrington and Matsumura 1967). [source]

easy-info tent cards [8.5x11"]

Purslane Recipes!

easy-info tent cards [8.5x11"]


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