by Pam Jorgenson a Hopkins County Master Gardener
When you step outside your driveway, sidewalk or even your flower bed, you will probably see pigweed, also known as portulaca or purslane. What is that? Well, it’s usually considered a weed in NE Texas, to be pulled up and tossed. But it isn’t. It is a highly nutritious vegetable. It is scientifically known as Portulaca oleracea. Purslane is native to India and Persia. On a recent trip to California, I saw it in a grocery and on top of my entrée in a restaurant.
It grows anywhere, through cracks in the sidewalk, through the gravel in your driveway. It is a drought tolerant annual, reproducing from seed and stem pieces. The taste is like watercress or spinach. Health benefits are too many to list here but can be found in an article written by Sandra Mason, Master Gardener Coordinator in Illinois.
I learned about the benefits of this plant while taking my daily walk with an Agronomist friend and his wife. I had never paid attention to it until he explained the nutritional benefits. I was delighted to find it here, growing through the gravel in my driveway.
I hope you will try it.