Portulacaceae / Purslane
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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)
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.
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