return to: checklist; keys, key 1; key 3; family Portulacaceae

Portulaca oleracea L.; verdolaga, purslane, pusly

Low herb with succulent stems and leaves; leaves alternate or opposite, simple, elliptic to obovate, nearly sessile, margin entire, apex rounded; flowers in leaf axils, nearly sessile; sepals 2, with a prominent keel; petals yellow; fruit capsular, dehiscing by an equatorial suture.

A cosmopolitan weed, native to Europe. Shoots can be cooked and consumed as a green vegetable. Standley (1930) mentions reports of localized use as a medicine, purgative and emolient. Listed as an important source of pollen and/or nectar for bees (Souza Novello 1981, Suarez Molina 1981).

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