Tuesday, September 9, 2008


The other day I was taking a gander at one of the local papers here and noticed this article on purslane (Portulaca olearacea). I had seen this "weed" in the backyard growing all over the pathway I put in earlier this summer. I put on my internet searching skills and came up with a lot of very interesting information!

  • Purslane contains more Omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid in particular) than any other leafy vegetable plant.
  • It also contains vitamins (mainly vitamin A, vitamin C, and some vitamin B and carotenoids), as well as dietary minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron.
  • In Greek popular medicine, purslane is used as a remedy for constipation and inflammation of the urinary system.
So we decided to try some on the taco's we made last night instead of lettuce. Oh my! That is one tasty plant! It is very crisp (and stays so even on top of hot beans, unlike lettuces) and has a mild, yet distinct flavor. I can't wait to add this "weed" to other meals! It's hard to beat having a free, healthy plant taking over your yard.

Word of caution:
Please carefully and positively identify any plant before you eat it! There is a sneaky purslane look a like that is toxic. Spurge. As far as I have read an easy way to identify the difference between your friend purslane and the bad spurge is that spurge will release a milky substance from it's stems when broken and purslane doesn't. So milky substance (when identifing purslane) = bad

Related articles:
A Guide to Wild Edible Plants for Parents and Teachers to Use With Children
About.com:Edible Landscaping
Purslane Article
The Joy of Purslane by Susan Weed
New York Times Article

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