Tall Purslane

Tall Purslane
Portulaca oleracea
Grown in 2013.
Packet = around 300 seeds
Truly a welcome weed, purslane is the most significant leafy vegetable source of omega-3 fatty acids (one cup leaves = 300-400 mg. of alpha-linolenic acid). Also high in vitamins A, C and E, and many necessary minerals. But wait – that’s just the bonus – the succulent leaves and stems have a nice bite and a cooling lemony taste that is a perfect addition to summer salads, especially those cucumber/tomato combinations we rely on when the weather is too hot for lettuce. The well-known weed version spreads in low mats – this one stands upright to 18”, keeping stems clean and easy to pick.

Culture: Plant in late spring after frost; partial to full sun. Reseeds readily.

Saving seed: Inconspicuous white flowers ripen into papery bowls with little caps; when seeds are ripe, the caps pop off, exposing nests of black seeds. They don’t all ripen at once, so go through the plants several times with a bucket or bag, bending stalks into the container and shaking seeds out. Select for bolt-resistance by eating the first plants to flower, leaving later ones for seed.