Portulaca oleracea

Last updated

Portulaca oleracea
Portulaca oleracea.jpg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Portulacaceae
Genus: Portulaca
Species:
P. oleracea
Binomial name
Portulaca oleracea
L.

Portulaca oleracea (common purslane, [1] also known as verdolaga, red root, or pursley) is an annual succulent in the family Portulacaceae, which may reach 40 cm (16 in) in height.

Annual plant Plant that completes its life cycle within one year, and then dies

An annual plant is a plant that completes its life cycle, from germination to the production of seeds, within one year, and then dies. Summer annuals germinate during spring or early summer and mature by autumn of the same year. Winter annuals germinate during the autumn and mature during the spring or summer of the following calendar year.

Portulacaceae family of plants

The Portulacaceae are a family of flowering plants, comprising 115 species in a single genus Portulaca. Formerly some 20 genera with about 500 species, were placed there, but it is now restricted to encompass only one genus, the other genera being placed elsewhere. The family has been recognised by most taxonomists, and is also known as the purslane family; it has a cosmopolitan distribution, with the highest diversity in semiarid regions of the Southern Hemisphere in Africa, Australia, and South America, but with a few species also extending north into Arctic regions. The family is very similar to the Caryophyllaceae, differing in the calyx, which has only two sepals.

Contents

Approximately forty cultivars are currently grown. [2]

Distribution

It has an extensive distribution, assumed to be mostly anthropogenic, [3] extending from North Africa and Southern Europe through the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent to Malesia and Australasia. The species status in the Americas is uncertain. In general, it is often considered an exotic weed, but there is evidence that the species was in Crawford Lake deposits (Ontario) in 1350–1539, suggesting that it reached North America in the pre-Columbian era. Scientists suggested that the plant was already eaten by native Americans, who spread its seeds. How it reached the Americas is currently unknown. [4]

Human impact on the environment human impacts on environment

Human impact on the environment or anthropogenic impact on the environment includes changes to biophysical environments and ecosystems, biodiversity, and natural resources caused directly or indirectly by humans, including global warming, environmental degradation, mass extinction and biodiversity loss, ecological crisis, and ecological collapse. Modifying the environment to fit the needs of society is causing severe effects, which become worse as the problem of human overpopulation continues. Some human activities that cause damage to the environment on a global scale include human reproduction, overconsumption, overexploitation, pollution, and deforestation, to name but a few. Some of the problems, including global warming and biodiversity loss pose an existential risk to the human race, and overpopulation causes those problems.

North Africa Northernmost region of Africa

North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Morocco in the west, to Egypt's Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the east. Others have limited it to the countries of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, a region that was known by the French during colonial times as "Afrique du Nord" and is known by Arabs as the Maghreb. The most commonly accepted definition includes Algeria, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, the 6 countries that shape the top North of the African continent. Meanwhile, "North Africa", particularly when used in the term North Africa and the Middle East, often refers only to the countries of the Maghreb and Libya. Egypt, being also part of the Middle East, is often considered separately, due to being both North African and Middle Eastern at the same time.

Europe Continent in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Asia to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.

Description

Portulaca oleracea flower. Portulaca (23559906595).jpg
Portulaca oleracea flower.

It has smooth, reddish, mostly prostrate stems and the leaves, which may be alternate or opposite, are clustered at stem joints and ends. [5] The yellow flowers have five regular parts and are up to 6 mm (0.24 in) wide. Depending upon rainfall, the flowers appear at any time during the year. The flowers open singly at the center of the leaf cluster for only a few hours on sunny mornings. Seeds are formed in a tiny pod, which opens when the seeds are mature. Purslane has a taproot with fibrous secondary roots and is able to tolerate poor compacted soils and drought.[ citation needed ]

Flower Structure found in some plants; aka: blossom

A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants. The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs. Flowers may facilitate outcrossing or allow selfing. Some flowers produce diaspores without fertilization (parthenocarpy). Flowers contain sporangia and are the site where gametophytes develop. Many flowers have evolved to be attractive to animals, so as to cause them to be vectors for the transfer of pollen. After fertilization, the ovary of the flower develops into fruit containing seeds.

Leaf organ of a vascular plant, composing its foliage

A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant and is the principal lateral appendage of the stem. The leaves and stem together form the shoot. Leaves are collectively referred to as foliage, as in "autumn foliage".

Taproot enlarged, somewhat straight to tapering plant root that grows downward

A taproot is a large, central, and dominant root from which other roots sprout laterally. Typically a taproot is somewhat straight and very thick, is tapering in shape, and grows directly downward. In some plants, such as the carrot, the taproot is a storage organ so well developed that it has been cultivated as a vegetable.

History

Widely used in East Mediterranean countries, archaeobotanical finds are common at many prehistoric sites. In historic contexts, seeds have been retrieved from a protogeometric layer in Kastanas, as well as from the Samian Heraion dating to seventh century BC. In the fourth century BC, Theophrastus names purslane, andrákhne (ἀνδράχνη), as one of the several summer pot herbs that must be sown in April (Enquiry into Plants 7.1.2). [6] As Portulaca it figures in the long list of comestibles enjoyed by the Milanese given by Bonvesin de la Riva in his "Marvels of Milan" (1288). [7]

Kastanas Place in Greece

Kastanas is a village of the Chalkidona municipality. Before the 2011 local government reform it was part of the municipality of Koufalia. The 2011 census recorded 630 inhabitants in the village. Kastanas is a part of the community of Prochoma.

Heraion of Samos human settlement in Greece

The Heraion of Samos was a large sanctuary to the goddess Hera, in the southern region of Samos, Greece, 6 km southwest of the ancient city, in a low, marshy river basin near the sea. The Late Archaic Heraion of Samos was the first of the gigantic free-standing Ionic temples, but its predecessors at this site reached back to the Geometric Period of the 8th century BC, or earlier. The site of temple's ruins, with its sole standing column, was designated a joint UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the nearby Pythagoreion in 1992.

Theophrastus ancient greek philosopher

Theophrastus, a Greek native of Eresos in Lesbos, was the successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school. He came to Athens at a young age and initially studied in Plato's school. After Plato's death, he attached himself to Aristotle who took to Theophrastus his writings. When Aristotle fled Athens, Theophrastus took over as head of the Lyceum. Theophrastus presided over the Peripatetic school for thirty-six years, during which time the school flourished greatly. He is often considered the father of botany for his works on plants. After his death, the Athenians honoured him with a public funeral. His successor as head of the school was Strato of Lampsacus.

In antiquity, its healing properties were thought so reliable that Pliny the Elder advised wearing the plant as an amulet to expel all evil ( Natural History 20.210). [6]

Pliny the Elder Roman military commander and writer

Pliny the Elder was a Roman author, a naturalist and natural philosopher, a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and a friend of emperor Vespasian.

<i>Natural History</i> (Pliny) encyclopedia published circa AD 77–79 by Pliny the Elder

The Natural History is a book about the whole of the natural world in Latin by Pliny the Elder, a Roman author and naval commander who died in 79 AD.

Uses

Culinary

Greek salad with purslane Glistrida Greek salad.JPG
Greek salad with purslane
Purslane, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 84 kJ (20 kcal)
3.39 g
Fat
0.36 g
2.03 g
Vitamins Quantity%DV
Vitamin A 1320 IU
Thiamine (B1)
4%
0.047 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
9%
0.112 mg
Niacin (B3)
3%
0.48 mg
Vitamin B6
6%
0.073 mg
Folate (B9)
3%
12 μg
Vitamin C
25%
21 mg
Vitamin E
81%
12.2 mg
Minerals Quantity%DV
Calcium
7%
65 mg
Iron
15%
1.99 mg
Magnesium
19%
68 mg
Manganese
14%
0.303 mg
Phosphorus
6%
44 mg
Potassium
11%
494 mg
Zinc
2%
0.17 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Water92.86 g

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Purslane may be eaten as a leaf vegetable. [8] William Cobbett noted that it was "eaten by Frenchmen and pigs when they can get nothing else. Both use it in salad, that is to say, raw". [9] It has a slightly sour and salty taste and is eaten throughout much of Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Mexico. [2] [10] The stems, leaves and flower buds are all edible. Purslane may be used fresh as a salad, stir-fried, or cooked as spinach is, and because of its mucilaginous quality it also is suitable for soups and stews. The sour taste is due to oxalic and malic acid, the latter of which is produced through the crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) pathway that is seen in many xerophytes (plants living in dry conditions), and is at its highest when the plant is harvested in the early morning. [11]

Australian Aborigines use the seeds of purslane to make seedcakes. Greeks, who call it andrákla ( αντράκλα ) or glistrída ( γλιστρίδα ), use the leaves and the stems with feta cheese, tomato, onion, garlic, oregano, and olive oil. They add it in salads, boil it, or add it to casseroled chicken. In Turkey, besides being used in salads and in baked pastries, it is cooked as a vegetable similar to spinach, or is mixed with yogurt to form a Tzatziki variant. [12]

Companion plant

As a companion plant, purslane provides ground cover to create a humid microclimate for nearby plants, stabilising ground moisture. Its deep roots bring up moisture and nutrients that those plants can use, and some, including corn, will follow purslane roots down through harder soil that they cannot penetrate on their own.[ citation needed ]

Nutrition

P. sativa, a subspecies Portulaca sativa 01.jpg
P. sativa , a subspecies

Raw purslane is 93% water, 3% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and contains negligible fat (table). In a 100 gram reference amount, purslane supplies 20 calories, and rich amounts (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of vitamin E (81% DV) and vitamin C (25% DV), with moderate content (11-19% DV) of several dietary minerals (table).

See also

Related Research Articles

Kohlrabi annual vegetable, and is a low, stout cultivar of cabbage

Kohlrabi, also called German turnip, is a biennial vegetable, a low, stout cultivar of wild cabbage. It is the same species as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, Savoy cabbage, and gai lan.

Parsley species of plant, herb

Parsley or garden parsley is a species of flowering plant in the family Apiaceae that is native to the central Mediterranean region, but has naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and is widely cultivated as a herb, a spice, and a vegetable.

Sorrel species of plant

Common sorrel or garden sorrel, often simply called sorrel, is a perennial herb in the family Polygonaceae. Other names for sorrel include spinach dock and narrow-leaved dock. It is a common plant in grassland habitats and is cultivated as a garden herb or salad vegetable.

Turnip root vegetable

The turnip or white turnip is a root vegetable commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, fleshy taproot. The word turnip is a compound of tur- as in turned/rounded on a lathe and neep, derived from Latin napus, the word for the plant. Small, tender varieties are grown for human consumption, while larger varieties are grown as feed for livestock. In the north of England, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall and eastern Canada, turnip often refers to rutabaga, a larger, yellow root vegetable in the same genus (Brassica) also known as swede.

Broccoli edible green plant in the cabbage family

Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family (Brassicas) whose large flowering head and stalk is eaten as a vegetable. The word broccoli comes from the Italian plural of broccolo, which means "the flowering crest of a cabbage", and is the diminutive form of brocco, meaning "small nail" or "sprout".

Spinach species of plant

Spinach is a leafy green flowering plant native to central and western Asia. It is of the order Caryophyllales, family Amaranthaceae, subfamily Chenopodioideae. Its leaves are a common edible vegetable consumed either fresh, or after storage using preservation techniques by canning, freezing, or dehydration. It may be eaten cooked or raw, and the taste differs considerably; the high oxalate content may be reduced by steaming.

Fennel A flowering plant species in the carrot family

Fennel is a flowering plant species in the carrot family. It is a hardy, perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks.

Collard (plant) variety of plant

Collard describes certain loose-leafed cultivars of Brassica oleracea, the same species as many common vegetables, including cabbage and broccoli. Collard is part of the Acephala Group of the species, which includes kale and spring greens. They are in the same cultivar group owing to their genetic similarity. The name "collard" comes from the word "colewort".

Winged bean species of plant, Winged bean

The winged bean, also known as the Goa bean, four-angled bean, four-cornered bean, Manila bean, and dragon bean, is a tropical legume plant native to New Guinea.

Leaf vegetable plant leaves eaten as a vegetable

Leaf vegetables, also called leafy greens, salad greens, pot herbs, vegetable greens, or simply greens, are plant leaves eaten as a vegetable, sometimes accompanied by tender petioles and shoots. Although they come from a very wide variety of plants, most share a great deal with other leaf vegetables in nutrition and cooking methods.

<i>Basella alba</i> species of plant

Basella alba is an edible perennial vine in the family Basellaceae. It is found in tropical Asia and Africa where it is widely used as a leaf vegetable. It is native to the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and New Guinea. It is reportedly naturalized in China, tropical Africa, Brazil, Belize, Colombia, the West Indies, Fiji and French Polynesia.

<i>Celosia</i> genus of plants in the amaranth family

Celosia is a small genus of edible and ornamental plants in the amaranth family, Amaranthaceae. The generic name is derived from the Ancient Greek word κήλεος, meaning "burning," and refers to the flame-like flower heads. Species are commonly known as woolflowers, or, if the flower heads are crested by fasciation, cockscombs. The plants are well known in East Africa’s highlands and are used under their Swahili name, mfungu.

<i>Filipendula vulgaris</i> species of plant, Dropwort

Filipendula vulgaris, commonly known as dropwort or fern-leaf dropwort, is a perennial herb of the family Rosaceae closely related to Meadowsweet. It is found in dry pastures across much of Europe and central and northern Asia mostly on lime.

<i>Oenothera biennis</i> species of plant

Oenothera biennis is a species of Oenothera native to eastern and central North America, from Newfoundland west to Alberta, southeast to Florida, and southwest to Texas, and widely naturalized elsewhere in temperate and subtropical regions. Evening primrose oil is produced from the plant.

Purslane is a common name for several plants with edible leaves and may refer to:

Carrot Root vegetable, usually orange in color

The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, black, red, white, and yellow cultivars exist. Carrots are a domesticated form of the wild carrot, Daucus carota, native to Europe and southwestern Asia. The plant probably originated in Persia and was originally cultivated for its leaves and seeds. The most commonly eaten part of the plant is the taproot, although the stems and leaves are eaten as well. The domestic carrot has been selectively bred for its greatly enlarged, more palatable, less woody-textured taproot.

<i>Sonchus oleraceus</i> species of plant

Sonchus oleraceus, with many common names including common sowthistle, sow thistle, smooth sow thistle, annual sow thistle, hare's colwort, hare's thistle, milky tassel, milk thistle, soft thistle, or swinies, is a plant in the dandelion tribe within the daisy family.

<i>Cleome gynandra</i> species of plant

Cleome gynandra is a species of Cleome that is used as a green vegetable. It is known by many common names including Shona cabbage, African cabbage, spiderwisp, cat's whiskers, chinsaga and stinkweed. It is an annual wildflower native to Africa but has become widespread in many tropical and sub-tropical parts of the world. It is an erect, branching plant generally between 25 cm and 60 cm tall. Its sparse leaves are each made up of 3–5 oval-shaped leaflets. The flowers are white, sometimes changing to rose pink as they age. The seed is a brown 1.5 mm diameter sphere. The leaves and flowers are both edible. The leaves have a strong bitter, sometimes peppery flavor similar to mustard greens.

<i>Portulaca oleracea <span style="font-style:normal;">subsp.</span> sativa</i> subspecies of plant

Portulaca oleracea subsp. sativa also known as golden purslane is one of few subspecies of Portulaca oleracea.

References

  1. "Portulaca oleracea". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  2. 1 2 Marlena Spieler (July 5, 2006). "Something Tasty? Just Look Down". The New York Times.
  3. "Portulaca oleracea (common purslane)". Go Botany. New England Wildflower Society.
  4. Byrne, R. & McAndrews, J.H. (1975). "Pre-Columbian puslane (Portulaca oleracea L.) in the New World" (PDF). Nature. 253 (5494): 726–727. doi:10.1038/253726a0 . Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  5. Hilty, John (2016). "Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea". Illinois Wildflowers. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  6. 1 2 Megaloudi Fragiska (2005). "Wild and Cultivated Vegetables, Herbs and Spices in Greek Antiquity". Environmental Archaeology. 10 (1): 73–82. doi:10.1179/146141005790083858.
  7. Noted by John Dickie, Delizia! The Epic History of Italians and Their Food (New York, 2008), p. 37.
  8. Wright, Clifford A. (2012). "Purslane". Mediterranean Vegetables: A Cook's Compendium of All the Vegetables from the World's Healthiest Cuisine, with More Than 200 Recipes. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Common Press. pp. 276–277. ISBN   978-1-55832-775-7.
  9. Cobbett, William (1980). The English Gardener. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 126. ISBN   0192812920.
  10. Pests in Landscapes and Gardens: Common Purslane. Pest Notes University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Publication 7461. October 2003
  11. Harold McGee. On Food and Cooking. Scribner. 2004 edition. ISBN   978-0684800011
  12. "Semizotlu Cacık – Hilal'in Mutfağı". Nefis Yemek Tarifleri (in Turkish). 2016-05-28. Retrieved 2017-08-07.