Purslane, scientific name Portulaca oleracea, is an annual, edible succulent plant. It is also called Pusley, Verdolaga, Pigweed, and Hogweed.
Purslane has a thick reddish stem and succulent, rounded leaves that grow in clusters. Its flowers are small and yellow, with five petals, and they bloom according to rainfall or moisture. It grows low to the ground and tends to spread.
Purslane originated in North Africa, the Middle East, and India. It probably spread to North America and elsewhere prior to the mid-1400s.
Purslane is an easy plant to grow, even in an arid climate. As a succulent, it is heat- and drought-tolerant, and a very hardy plant. In fact, it is often considered a weed in North America. It tends to sprawl across the ground, and will need to be cut back to be maintained.
Check with regulations in your area before planting purslane; in some regions it is considered an invasive weed.
All parts of Purslane are edible: leaves, flowers, and stem. It has a slightly sweet and sour flavor and a chewy texture. It is commonly eaten fresh, cooked, or in soups and stews.
Purslane is sometimes known as the Dolly Parton flower because of when it blooms--from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Purslane is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamins A and C.
It is considered a edible plant in Mexican, Russian, and Mediterranean cultures, among others.
Elizabeth Davis graduated in 2008 with a degree in English from the University of Central Florida. She was an editor of "The Cypress Dome" literary magazine, and copy-edited and conducted for a position at the University of Central Florida's Office of Undergraduate Research. She has been contracting for Loud3r since August 2008, creating, editing, and maintaining news/social networking websites.