PURSLANE (Portulaca oleracea), is an ancient herb grown in Europe and the near East. It was Ghandi's favorite food! Little known in the United States except perhaps as a weed (a weed being anything you didn't plant and don't know what it is). A member of the portulaca family, it has thick succulent leaves that are incredibly nutritious and delicious, raw or cooked. It is also an Ayurvedic herb. Low growing, it rarely reaches higher than 24". 50 days. 100 seeds.
ABOUT PURSLANE: Full of Omega-3 fatty acids -- you know the same thing you buy that expensive salmon for? Also high in Vitamin C and alpha linolenic acid, magnesium and potassium. The ancient Greeks made a bread flour from purslane seeds and pickled its thick stems. In Mexico it is served cooked with meats or eggs. In China, with noodles.
MEDICINAL: Medieval herbalists used purslane as a cure for ailments of the heart and liver. It is considered good for diabetics, and as a cleansing herb. Also used as a remedy for arthritis.
GROWING TIPS: Plant early spring and throughout the summer. Harvest when the edges of the leaves begin to turn slightly reddish. If left longer, seed pods will form which you can also harvest simply by gently squeezing over a paper cup. It needs a moist soil to germinate, but once established is fairly heat tolerant. Likes full sun.