Purslane



Purslane – Portulaca oleracea

Purslane is a succulent growing as a weed all over North America. It is absolutely loaded with nutrients and delicious!

Purslane

Scientific name – Portulaca oleracea

Identification
A hot weather succulent that grows along the ground but grows vertically when there is a lot of competition or shade. It branches profusely where there is open sun to form a thick mat covering the ground. The stems and leaves are succulent which means they are fleshy and thickened to absorb and hold water. The leaves themselves have rounded or flattened tips. The leaves are green and can have a reddish tint.
Small yellow flowers that open only in sunlight. Small black seeds grow out of little seed pods that the top pops off of leaving a little cup containing the seeds.

Distribution:
Grows in almost all of North America on sidewalks, roadsides, gardens, lawns, beaches, and other disturbed ground. The seeds are small and can be windswept, so it can spread easily. It is native to North America and Eurasia.

Food:
Loaded with things like Vitamin E, omega 3s, iron, potassium, and antioxidants such as glutathione. The leaves and stems are edible and keep tasting good long throughout the season. Because of the nature of the plant and its water storing capabilities, it remains flexible longer than others. Can be eaten raw, cooked, or pickled. I like to just eat it when I’m out in the garden or to pick some to put on sandwiches. Has a slight lemony flavour.

Interesting:
It’s eaten as a vegetable in many cultures including Indian, Mediterranean, and Mexican.

*Please consume wild plants at your own risk! Consult multiple reliable sources before consuming any wild plants! This video is for information and entertainment only!*

References

Kallas, John. Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods from Dirt to Plate. Gibbs Smith. 2010.

Thayer, Samuel. Incredible Wild Edibles – 36 plants that can change your life. Forager’s Harvest. 2017.

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