Common name: Purslane • Hindi: Lunia लूनिया • Manipuri: লৈবাক কুন্দো Leibak kundo • Tamil: புருப்புக்கீரை Paruppu keerai • Malayalam: Koluppa • Kannada: Dudagorai • Bengali: নূনিযা সাগ Nunia sag (Bengali)
Botanical name: Portulaca oleracea Family: Portulacaceae (Moss rose family)
This common 'weed' is native to India. The leaves are
alternate. Each succulent leaf is entire and the leaves are clustered at stem
joints and ends. The flowers have 5 regular parts and are up to 0.6cm wide.
They are yellow. Blooms first appear in late spring and
continue into mid fall. 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
the lid of which opens when the seeds are ready.
It can be found growing wild and/or cultivated in much of the world. It
existed in the New World before the arrival of Columbus, and was found in
Europe by the late 16th century. It can be found growing in almost any
unshaded area, including flower beds, corn fields, and waste places. Purslane
can be found growing in cold climate areas as well as warm
areas. It has been used in salads and as a medicinal
plant (for people) for hundreds of years Purslane is a good edible and is
eaten throughout much of Europe and Asia. It can be eaten fresh or cooked and
has no bitter taste at all. Since it has a mucilaginous quality it is great
for soups and stews.