Index- plants in this Family
Portulacaceae / Purslane
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
Purslane is also known as Little Hogweed which is the official vernacular name and Pusley..

Plant Type: This is a non-native succulent, it is a annual which can reach 40cm in height (16inches). It has smooth, reddish, mostly prostrate stems.
Leaves: The leaves are alternate. Each succulent leaf is entire and the leaves are clustered at stem joints and ends.
Flowers: The flowers have 5 Regular Parts and are up to 0.6cm wide (0.25 inches). They are yellow. Blooms first appear in late spring and continue into mid fall. The flowers open singly at the center of the leaf cluster for only a few hours on sunny mornings.
Fruit: Seeds are formed in a tiny pod the lid of which opens when the seeds are ready.
Habitat: Gardens and disturbed areas.
Range: Almost all of North America.

      Color Photo     More Info      Classification

Ads on this page help pay for this site but if you see one that seems inappropriate here such as one that is counter to the pro environmental theme please let me know which Ad and I will block it.
Report a Bad Ad

This common, introduced, 'weed' comes to us from India or the Middle East but is a close relative of several less common native plants. Rooting easily from cut stems and with the ability to mature the seeds even after the plant has been pulled it is a difficult plant to remove from gardens.

Lore: Purslane is a good edible and is eaten throughout much of Europe and Asia. It can be eaten fresh or cooked and has no bitter taste at all. Since it has a mucilaginous quality it is great for soups and stews.

Medical Uses: Purslane contains more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable plant we know of. The most common dietary source of Omega-3s are cold water fish like Salmon. Omega-3s aid the body in the production of compounds that effect blood pressure, clotting, the immune system, prevent inflammation, lower cholesterol (LDL), prevent certain cancers and control coronary spasms. In addition recent studies suggest that Omega-3s may have positive effects on the brain and may aid in such conditions as depression, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer's disease, autism, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity and migraines. Though very beneficial, there are few good dietary sources other than seafood for Omaga-3s. (Some oils, nuts, grains and other leafy vegetables do contain Omega-3s)

© Daniel Reed   E-mail      Image use policy

Ads on this page help pay for this site but if you see one that seems inappropriate here such as one that is counter to the pro environmental theme please let me know which Ad and I will block it. Report a Bad Ad

More Info:  
The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.

By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316- 60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.

Wildflowers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.

Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves



Welcome / Glossary / Books / Links / Feedback / Image use policy - Wildflowers of the Southeastern United States, Page updated on 9/11/2011 8:06:32 AM. File date-11-Sep-11
© 1999-2009 Daniel W. Reed