|Freshly harvested(weeded) Purslane from my|
mother-in-laws tomato garden. ©2013 BDG
A vegetable-centric website called Best Vegetables has a write-up on Purslane. Health Guidance also has a summary of the health benefits of Purslane. If this plant can deliver on any of these promises, then it is worth adding it to your salads or stir-fry. I ate several raw sprigs and found it fresh and slightly zesty. It will be a nice addition to a future salad.
|Purslane in the vegetable garden. ©2013 BDG|
|Spurge, a similar looking weed that|
can be poisonous. ©2013 BDG
There is another weed out at this time that looks similar called Spurge. Purslane is prostrate, has thick red/yellow stems, and fleshy, thick leaves. Spurge has a similar look but the stems are not as thick and the leaves are thin and not fleshy. Spurge is part of the Euphorbia family and they can be poisonous. An easy way to tell is to break the stem, and if it is a spurge, a milky sap will ooze out. Purslane will not have a milky sap and is a thick fleshy plant.
It is used in cultures throughout the world, but apparently its origins are in India. A fascinating article discusses it cultural significance.
I am continually amazed by our natural world, and thanks to a friend will try not to overlook the value of any plant...even a lowly weed.
After posting this, I received a quote from someone who read this blog and I thought it appropriate to add: "What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." - Ralph Waldo Emerson