Wild Food: Purslane

Purslane is often identified as a weed, but if you overlook this plant or uproot it, you’ll miss out on it’s nutritutional value as a wild food.


There are hundreds of different species of Purslane. The Purslane species growing in my region is Portulaca oleracea.

Purslane is an excellent wild food which can be eaten raw or cooked. This wild food is very high in beta-carotine, potassium, and magnesium. Purslane also contains alpha linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid, which is known to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as make the blood less likely to form clots.


Europeans use Purslane as a remedy for inflammation and arthritis. Chinese herbalists use Purslane to remedy circulation or respiratory problems. A welcomed food in many countries, Purslane is often canned or dried to preserve it for winter use.


Purslane is a low-growing succulent and both the leaves and stems can be eaten in salads, omlets, stir fries, or used as a condiment topping in soups. Purslane can also be used in dishes calling for spinach, using both the leaves and stems. Here in Virginia, we allow our clumps of Purslane to grow along the edges of our vegetable garden. Harvest time is June-July.

Read what “Wildman” says about Purslane. He eats it too.

3 thoughts on “Wild Food: Purslane

  1. Aren’t plants that grow themselves great. It never ceases to amaze me what is considered a weed. Like you said, some weeds are nutritional powerhouses much more so then any of the more dainty greens we purposely plant in the salad garden. It’s really quite comical if you think about it. We pull the healthiest plants calling them weeds to make room for the the less beneficial ones.

    We have two kinds that I am aware of growing in our gardens. I had no idea how many different types there were, how interesting. I really liked this article, thank you.

  2. Pingback: Pounds Of Purslane Later, A Quiche « Wood Ridge – Country living in the northern Shenandoah Valley

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