Wild grass rich in Omega3

Purslane is a weed that can be troublesome to eradicate in the garden, as it grows inexorably in the middle of crops, especially during the summer months.

As always, when we label a plant species as “grass”, we are doing Mother Nature a disservice: everything in the ecosystem has its own purpose and utility. Purslane is quite a nutrient-hungry plant, so it takes up some soil, but it can become food for ourselves, being an edible wild grass. In addition, there are ornamental varieties to keep in the garden or in pots, which produce splendid flowers.

So more than a grass, we are talking about a grass to eat: not only is it excellent in salads but it is also very good for the body, since it is rich in vitamins and omega 3. It therefore deserves be rediscovered and once even cultivated, before eradicating it, keep in mind that you can live with purslane.

Contents [Ocultar]

  • Recognize purslane

  • purslane in the garden

    • Deciding whether to eradicate or not

    • growing purslane

  • Consumption and recipes with purslane

  • Properties of Purslane


Recognize purslane

Purslane or porcelain grass (scientific name Portulacaoleracea ) is an annual plant of Indian origin. Once known, it is very easy to identify it: in the garden it appears as a creeping plant, recognizable by its fleshy and smooth leaves, placed on succulent and reddish stems. Purslane has different names depending on the geographical area: it is called porcelain (Sicily), spurchizia (Puglia) pucchiaca or pucchiacchiella (Campania).

In addition to the wild Portulaca oleracea, there is also the Portulaca sativa variety, which is more popular in gardens and therefore more often grown in beds or in pots.

The first vegetative phase of this spontaneous plant sees it creeping up to ground level, the adult plant then reaching an upright position. Often in cultivation it is uprooted before it has “raised its head”. It blooms in autumn with numerous small colorful flowers, ornamental varieties have frequent and long-lasting blooms, but the wild variety is also often pleasing to the eye.

It is found mainly in fertile, well fertilized and worked soils, it grows rapidly where it is watered regularly, and for this reason it is a frequent guest of the summer garden. It is not even afraid of scorching heat, but it does well if the soil is kept moist, without overdoing it. Instead, he fears the cold and suffers from temperatures below 6-7 degrees.

purslane in the garden

We find purslane in the garden as a spontaneous plant, knowing that it is edible we can decide to keep it, we thus discover the advantages and disadvantages of its presence. If we want to cultivate it, it will not be difficult to do so.

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Deciding whether to eradicate or not

Portulaca oleaceae is a typical pest of cultivated land, if you find it in the garden and recognize it, you can leave it to grow in a field to enjoy in a salad.

If we decide to keep this plant, we must know that, like almost all plants, it removes substances and water from the soil. Therefore, we must not allow purslane to become too entrenched by prevaricating our crops and competing with them for resources.

In rich soils, however, there is room for everyone and a little biodiversity is valuable for the organic garden. The fact that the ground is not bare but covered and furrowed with roots is undoubtedly positive, so grasses do not only have negative effects. Therefore, it is advisable to assess on a case-by-case basis whether to leave or remove spontaneously emerging purslane seedlings, however, remember not to demonize it by going mad to eliminate any minor manifestations.

Growing Purslane

The culture of purslane is very simple, since the plant does not require much, it is enough to keep it in full sun, in a well melted soil and to water it often but in small doses, without stagnation or in too humid soil. . If the soil is fertilized with mature manure, the results will be better.

It is propagated by seed or by cutting, if we start from the seed we must plant it in the spring, alternatively the branches of the purslane that develop can take root, forming a plant that can be separated from the mother plant by means of transplant . Sowing is a simple operation, just be careful that there is no frost. The seeds can be planted directly, at a very shallow depth, a fine veil of soil is enough, they generally germinate in 10 days.

Consumption and recipes with purslane

Purslane is mainly eaten raw, it can be eaten alone or in a mixed salad. To eat it, it is better to take the youngest, most tender and tasty branches. Avoid the swollen stem, which needs to be cooked but becomes much less appetizing.

A recommended recipe: this wild herb is delicious seasoned with oil, walnuts and parmesan shavings, or oil and lemon. It can also be successfully combined with arugula, which gives it a delicious spicy touch.

property of purslane

It is a very useful herb for well-being and health because it is very rich in omega 3, linoleic acid and vitamin C. It is very low in calories, while it contains mineral salts and vitamins. The important content of Omega 3 made purslane prevent cardiovascular disease, reduces the risk of stroke. Purslane also has antioxidant properties, it is rich in vitamin A, C and contains B vitamins.

In short, as healthy and good as it is, it would be a real shame to eliminate it like a weed.

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