Common purslane (Portulaca oleracea): A great plant that we normally walk on

Portulaca oleracea

We all know that we step on different plants every day or we just pass them by unnoticed. But as soon as we see undesirable weeds we try to eliminate them immediately. We understand. You just want to give a chance to those plans you want to grow. One of those unknown but great plants is common purslane. You may have seen and other variety of this plant (Portulaca grandiflora ), also known as Mexican rose, which is a nice decorative plant with beautiful flowers. Common purslane, is a great and useful plant that can be consumed and enjoyed. You do not believe us? Well, read on…

How does purslane looks like?

This plant belongs to the Crassulaceae family. Its leaves are remarkably similar to sedum flowering plants. It is an annual that sprouts in early June. Small seedlings are inconspicuous, but they grow very fast. It forms creeping reddish stems which gradually form larger chunks that you may “confuse” with a some kind of squid. Stems are strong and fleshy and have an oval shape. Tiny yellow flowers begin to appear in August.

Portulaca oleraceaPhoto: Radek Štěpán

And where purslane grows?

This plant likes gaps in sidewalks and you can also find it around curbs or even in heavily trampled grasslands in large cities. You will not collect it in large cities of course, but you may often find it in your flowerbed. It grows and branches among other plants very quickly but you can easily pull it out together with its root. Usually, you will find it in the same places every year because it propagates spontaneously. If you pull it out do not throw it away, because you can use it in your kitchen.

Portulaca oleraceaPhoto: Radek Štěpán

Try to collect young plants before flowering

If you have purslane in your garden right now, just collect it without any worries and use it for light summer salads. It has a slightly sour taste, which will come handy during hot summer days. It goes very well with spicy tomato salads too.

Photo: Radek Štěpán

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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