I visited Margy and received a half dozen small Purslane plants. A shame they are annuals, but I am committed to flowèrs and reseeding. Purslane is believed to be a Eurasian import; however, 5000 yr old seeds have been found at archaological sites so it may be a native. It ìs common in cities and easy to encourage in a sunny corner. I will put them near my patio, so they will get extra water and full sun.
I use purslane in a lot of ways. Add it raw to salads for a delicate crunch. Sprinkle garlic chives on an omelet then sprinkle the sunny yellow flowers on top. Almost too pretty to eat.
Purslane can be cooked in soup and will thicken it the same way okra does, but tastes better. Works with dried leaves, too. At the Hubble House in New Mexico I learned to dry leaves in a cardboard box in my car. Good for winter use and a low energy alternative to canning. Good circular economy practices.
Seeds carry a nutritional punch. They are easy to collect even though tiny. Pull the ripe plants and lay on a clean cloth until the seeds fall out. It is easy to collect several pounds because they are prolific.
Chickens love the stuff and can eat more than their fair share.
Purslane stores salt and can be used to remediate mildly salty soil. Burn the leaves to ash and use as a salt substitute.
I recommend these easy (and pretty) plants to increase our natural food without work… a strong addition to a circular economy.
Birds and butterflies feast on Purslane.