Purslane, Pigweed

Family: Portulacaceae
Genus: Portulaca
Species: oleracea
Main Flower Colour: Yellow


Found worldwide, purslane is native in parts of Australia but a weed elsewhere. Succulent, prostrate (flat or trailing) to decumbent(flat with ends of stems turned up) annual, herb, to 20 cm high.
It has a distinctive thick, reddish stems and succulent, green leaves. Leaves are fleshy and spoon-like in shape

Flowering start in April and ends in August.


The main flower colour is yellow.


The young shoots are fleshy, tart, salty and mucilaginous. Lightly steamed, or wrapped in foil and thrown into the coals or on the barbecue, purslane is delicious with butter and pepper, making it an excellent “greens”. The leaves are rich in vitamins C and A, with some B vitamins as well. The tartness is due to oxalic acid, which is partly destroyed by cooking.
Purslane was used in the Middle East by the ancient Persians, and is still widely used as a cooked or salad vegetable in the Mediterranean. It was introduced to Europe by way of Spain and became a common vegetable in Elizabethan England.
The seeds were used by indigenous Australians to make a flour. To harvest the small seeds, the plants were piled in heaps on a flat hard surface, bark or animal skin and left to dry. The seeds would drop in a concentrated pile, from where they could be easily gathered.


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Bio Regions

Channel Country (CHC), Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields (SSD)

Region Specifics

Walkers Crossing track

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