Friday, October 11, 2013


As I was cultivating the garden to loosen the soil around the newly planted cabbage and broccoli, I noticed that the purslane was also pushing through the soil.  I was wondering if I was cultivating the garden soil, the plants, the weeds, or me.  The plants and the weeds are already set in their ways and there is little I can do about them; so, that leaves the soil and me.  Whoa!  I am digging deep here!

Let me get back to the purslane that self-seeds and keeps coming up every so often.  It's a low spreading plant with rather small meaty green leaves.  Some of the stems take on a delicate purple hue.  The flowers are small and yellow and bloom profusely.

The purslane was first cultivated in India and the Middle East.  It eventually found its way to Europe and became very popular in the 16th century.  But like so many Europeans, it immigrated to America and settled its roots in many gardens.  It is still popular.

I have known that the purslane is edible but I have never tried it.  It may be eaten raw or mixed in salads. Most often it is cooked like spinach.

I read in the Southern Herb Growing that in the American South, the purslane was used as a "vermifuge".  To make a vermifuge, the ladies (Hill, Barclay, and Hardy) recommend that you cook down the leaves in honey and drop in "dollops" as one would make pralines.  Mr. Webster states that a vermifuge "serves to destroy or expel parasitic worms."

In another favorite herbal book of mine, The Complete Book of Herbs, Lesley Bremness claims that the purslane was once thought to provide "protection from evil spirits."

As long as the purslane grows in my garden without interfering with the other vegetables, I leave it alone, especially when it is blooming.  It keeps the other weeds down and I am hoping that it will attract bees and butterflies.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
Thank you for visiting my blog.
May the good spirit be with you.

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