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Purslane - What is purslane

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Purslane

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.)

© A.Jeanroy, 2011

Overview:

Latin Name:

Portulaca oleracea L.

Common Name:

Purslane, Portulaca

USDA Hardiness Zone:

Easy to grow in all US zones.

Exposure:

Purslane grows well in partial shade to full sun.

Harvest:

Pick all aerial parts throughout the year. Purslane grows even in the harshest environments, and can provide much needed fresh food during late winter and early spring.

Uses:

Purslane is in almost everyone's yards right now. It grows close to the ground, in disturbed areas, doing well in just about any light location, making it a common weed. You may have it in your yard, and never know it! Purslane is worth knowing however. This succulent plant is a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid. Omega 3's benefit brain, blood and the immune system, making them essential for good health.

You can plant purslane from seed, however because of its availability in the wild, there is no need to do so. The seeds are said to survive over 40 years in the soil, so as you cultivate your garden bed, you are probably turning up seeds just waiting to germinate.

Historically, purslane has been used by the Native Americans as a treatment for diarrhea, earache, bruising and burns.

To enjoy eating purslane, use the fresh leaves in a salad or stir fry, juice the leaves and fleshy stems, or add the chopped plant to any recipe where you would add chopped veggies.

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