Purslane

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Purslane
Purslane
Portulaca oleracea
Portulacaceae
Common Names
Purslane, garden purslane, pigweed, pusley (En); pourpier, pourpier potager (Fr);
verdolaga, buglosa, porcelana, hierba grasa (Sp); 馬齒莧 (Cn)
Plant Distribution
Throughout tropical regions
Botanical Features
Succulent, branched, erect or prostrate annual herb, forming mats; stems up to 50 cm
long, thick and soft, hairless, green to reddish or brownish; leaves alternate, opposite
or in whorls, spatulate to obovate, 0.5-3.3 x 0.2-1.5 cm, puckered, thick, soft and
smooth, green with purplish green underside; inflorescences sessile, clustered at the
apex of stems, up to 8-flowered; flowers bisexual, regular, bright yellow, white and
pink; fruit (capsules) cone-shaped, 4-7 mm, many-seeded; seeds 0.6-1.0 mm, black,
kidney-shaped; epigeal germination.
Growth form
202
Environmental Factors
Light requirement: full sun; photoperiod: short-day, day-neutral, long-day;
temperature requirement: hot; preferred soil type: sand, sandy loam; optimum soil pH:
5.5-7.0; tolerance: drought, salinity, flooding; sensitivity: frost.
Leaves
203
Production Methods
System: gathering wild, home gardening; planting material: seeds, 10-cm vine
cuttings; planting method: direct broadcast and cover lightly with compost;
irrigation: frequent; priority fertilizer: nitrogen, organic matter; crop management:
creeping on ground; planting to 1 st harvest: 20-30 days; harvesting: once-over
(uproot), repeated cuttings at 2-3 week intervals; yield: 20 t/ha.
Different flower colors
204
Edible Parts
Tender shoots with pleasant acidic flavor are used fresh in salad, blanched, pickled, or
sun-dried.
Health Values
Beta-carotene: medium; vitamin E: low; riboflavin: low; folic acid: low; ascorbic
acid: medium; calcium: low; iron: high; protein: 1.3%. Edible portions contain
coumarins, flavonoids, and oxalic acid (ca.1%). Purslane contains omega-3 fatty acids
that are available to the human diet mainly through animal sources such as fish; it may
have a protective effect against cardiovascular disease.
Seeds
Bundled shoots in the market
205

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