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Purslane (Portulaca oleracea; Ma Chi Xian)



  1. It is also known as duckweed or pigweed. It is a red stemmed succulent with dark green leaves. The plant has a mild peppery flavor which makes it useful to season various foods. It is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C and E. Mineral content includes calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorous and potassium. It is also a good source of antioxidants and dietary fiber.
  2. Small, ground cover plant with fleshy, edible leaves and stems (raw or cooked).
  3. Grows in lawns - many treat as a weed.
  4. Mahatma Gandhi's favourite food and eaten by Henry David Thoreau while residing at Walden Pond.
  5. The richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease and can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  6. Recipes and uses

Notes (JN)

  1. Can be dug up and potted (2011/03).
  2. Small black seeds can be found in autumn - try picking a stem and eating off the leaves - seeds will be more viewable once the leaves are eaten off and the seed capsules are exposed (2011/04/02).


  1. Images

External links

  1. Edible landscaping with Purslane
  2. Purslane - Weed it or eat it?
  3. Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) (
  4. Purslane (Vegetarian Times)
  5. Something tasty? Just look down, New York Times (2006)
  6. Growing the common purslane as a garden plant
  7. Purslane: Is Gandhi’s favorite food in your yard?
  8. A disease-fighting weed
  9. The nutrition of purslane
  10. Purslane (The Worldwide Gourmet)
  11. Safe, nutritious purslane proves as powerful as Western drugs
  12. Purslane (ma chi xian)
  13. Purslane (Prairielandcsa)
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