Edible uses


Unknown part

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Portulaca oleracea.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - for an early crop, the seed is best sown under protection in early spring and can then be planted out in late spring[1]. Outdoor sowings in situ take place from late spring to late summer, successional sowings being made every two to three weeks if a constant supply of the leaves is required[1].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Portulaca oleracea. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Requires a moist light rich well-drained soil in a sunny position[1][2][3]. Plants will not produce good quality leaves when growing in dry conditions[1]. A perennial plant in warmer climates than Britain, purslane is killed by frost but can be grown as a half-hardy annual in this country[4]. It can become an aggressive weed in areas where the climate suits it[5]. The flowers only open in full sunlight[6]. Purslane is occasionally cultivated for its edible leaves, there are some named varieties[7]. The plants take about six to eight weeks to produce a crop from seed and can then be harvested on a cut and come again principle, providing edible leaves for most of the summer[1].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Portulaca oleracea. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Portulaca oleracea.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Portulaca oleracea
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.1 Thompson. B. The Gardener's Assistant. Blackie and Son. (1878-00-00)
    3. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    5. ? Diggs, Jnr. G.M.; Lipscomb. B. L. & O'Kennon. R. J [Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas] Botanical Research Institute, Texas. (1999-00-00)
    6. ? Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs Pan Books Ltd. London. ISBN 0-330-30725-8 (1990-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    8. ? Loewenfeld. C. and Back. P. Britain's Wild Larder. David and Charles ISBN 0-7153-7971-2 ()
    9. ? Vilmorin. A. The Vegetable Garden. Ten Speed Press ISBN 0-89815-041-8 ()
    10. ? Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains. University of New Mexico Press ISBN 0-8623-0343-9 (1967-00-00)
    11. ? Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    13. ? Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre (1977-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.1 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    15. ? Elias. T. and Dykeman. P. A Field Guide to N. American Edible Wild Plants. Van Nostrand Reinhold ISBN 0442222009 (1982-00-00)
    16. ? Kavasch. B. Native Harvests. Vintage Books ISBN 0-394-72811-4 (1979-00-00)
    17. ? McPherson. A. and S. Wild Food Plants of Indiana. Indiana University Press ISBN 0-253-28925-4 (1977-00-00)
    18. ? Low. T. Wild Food Plants of Australia. Angus and Robertson. ISBN 0-207-14383-8 (1989-00-00)
    19. ? Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    20. ? ? A Barefoot Doctors Manual. Running Press ISBN 0-914294-92-X ()
    21. ? Lassak. E. V. and McCarthy. T. Australian Medicinal Plants. ()
    22. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    23. ? Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    24. ? Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide. Oxford University Press ISBN 0192176218 (1969-00-00)