Plant of Week 11: Purslane

Once widely considered a pesky weed, purslane is making a comeback as a highly nutritious, easy to grow plant with a variety of culinary uses. Purslane has a hard, round stem with a reddish tint, and oblong, shiny leaves that grow in small clusters. The plant itself spreads quickly and grows close to the ground.

Species: Portulaca oleracea

HABITAT:  Purslane has been cultivated in China and India for many years, and is currently grown and sold in many European, Asian, and Mexican markets. It grows well in undisturbed areas like lawns and garden beds, and can even sometimes be found growing in cracks in the sidewalk!

IS IT EDIBLE?: Yes! Purslane has a mild, lemony-herb flavor and is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin C. It can be eaten raw in green salads or as an addition to potato or pasta salads. It can also be sautéed as a side dish, added to sauces like tzatziki, or eaten on its own.

IS IT MEDICINAL?: Purslane was used in ancient Rome to treat sore eyes, dermatitis, inflammation, headache, and abdominal pain.

Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Sources:

The Spruce

Fine Gardening