Purslane requires almost no effort to grow and rewards you with enormous health benefits. We call this purslane "proud" because it is much taller than other purslanes, which makes it much easier to harvest and gives you a greater abundance of its yummy, crunchy leaves to enjoy. It will give you loads of food spring through fall and then will joyfully reseed itself for next year with no work from you. Michael Pollan has called it one of the two most nutritious plants on the planet in his In Defense of Food manifesto (the other is lamb’s quarters if you want to hunt for that too). (Portulaca oleracea)
Why We Love It
Here are some of the reasons why we love Purslane...
1) CRUNCHY ADDITION TO SALADS - Purslane has a delicious crunchy texture and a slightly salty/lemony taste that adds a great texture and flavor to salads. The tips of the plants are the most delicious and are coveted by gourmet chefs.
2) PACKED WITH NUTRITION - Purslane is the highest plant-based source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy oils help in supporting healthy cholesterol levels and reducing inflammation. It also contains large amounts of Vitamin A, B Complex, and C and is a potent source of minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. Here's the research.
3) COOLING & SOOTHING - Purslane has been used in traditional Chinese medicine where it is called the “vegetable for long life.” Its energy is cold in nature and helps to lower fevers, cool inflammation, and is used to soothe rashes and burns.
How to Grow It
Here's how to grow Purslane:
|REGULAR GARDEN MOISTURE WITH GOOD DRAINAGE
|USDA ZONES 5-10 (Not sure? Find your growing zone here)
|2 FEET TALL
|Purslane self seeds very easily. To get your patch started, prepare your soil and then scatter the seeds finely and tamp and press into the surface. Keep moist until it germinates. Space to about 8". If you don't want purslane to spread beyond your patch, snip off the flowers so it doesn't set seed. It will go dormant with the first frost.
How to Harvest & Use It
Purslane is so simple to enjoy. You can snack on the young leaves and flowers raw, add them to salads, or whip them up into a stir fry. The seeds can be used like flax seeds or made into a flour. Here's an awesome article from Morag Gamble, a permaculture teacher in Australia which highlights 20 ways to use purslane.
Here's a great video about purslane's benefits from Dr. Farrah Agustin-Bunch M.D.: