Common Purslane

Common_Purslane_jpgThe family name, Portulacaeae, may come from the Latin “porto” and “lac” which means “milk-carrier” because of the juicy leaves and stems that typify this family. Others believe that the family name comes from “portula”, a little gate, because of the gate-like cover to the seed capsules. In Chinese medicine, the fresh whole-plant poultice is applied for hemorrhoids, reddish inflammation of the skin, boils, and skin ulcers, snake and insect bites. A decoction (medicine prepared by boiling thick parts of a plant) is taken internally for dysentery and urinary tract infections. Native Americans prepared a poultice (soft, moist mass of plant parts wrapped and applied to the skin) to treat bruises and burns.

OtherCommonName:

Pig Pursley, Purslane

ScientificName:

Portulaca oleracea

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

PlantHeight:

Prostrate

FruitingTime:

Late July to late September

Distribution:

Statewide in NJ

FloweringTime:

Late June to late September

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Prostrate, smooth ~ Stems are reddish with leaves alternate, entire, spatula-shaped, with clusters at the ends of the branches ~ Flowers are in the leaf clusters, small, yellow and appear only a few hours in the morning.