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by Robin Shope
(Southern Indiana)


It has a purple stem and green leaves with tiny yellow flowers in the center of the leaf cluster.

Drought Smart Plants reply:

Hi Robin, I’m pretty sure this is Portulaca oleracea, sometimes known as Purslane. It’s called a weed, but it can be trouble, as each leaf or portion of stem can re-root to continue living. The best revenge for it is to cook it and eat it – in Mexico it’s called ‘verdolaga’ and the French know it as ‘pourpiere’.

There are several varieties grown for this purpose, but Portulaca is mostly known as a pretty annual with bright pink, yellow or white flowers in hot dry sites.


Comments for Found it growing in my herb garden.

Jul 27, 2017

Not edible
by: Jacki


I would not eat any of the other types. It’s not that they may be REALLY poisonous, but more that they wouldn’t taste good. As far as I know, that’s the only one that is edible.

Jul 27, 2017

Question about portulacas
by: Karen

Can all varieties of Portulaca be eaten?… even the other more decorative varieties? Are any varieties toxic?

Jul 25, 2011

by: Anonymous

Thank you! I think I will move it, carefully, to a remote area and eat what i can. Thanks again!

Jul 22, 2011

by: Patty Hicks

I was just reading your comment to the plant ID and wanted to add that I love harvesting Purslane and eating it fresh in salads. It is filled with vitamins and minerals..almost a super food I think. They eat it in the Middle East and have for centuries. I agree the best defense is to eat it…and its a pleasant defense too. Oh one more note…try to pick it young if you are going to eat it. Its more tender when young.