Purslane – The Neglected One

Purslane – Many colors. Tear drop shaped leaves. Full sun.

Purslane thrives on neglect and sports splashy blooms in electric hues.

Isn’t every gardener searching for a heat-tolerant, drought-tolerant plant that puts out a profusion of brightly colored blooms from morning to night? That plant is purslane, a show-stopping, hardy bloomer just right for Texas landscapes.

Although it began its history in horticulture as a wild edible and was considered by many to be a troublesome weed, purslane (Portulaca oleracea) has been refined through the centuries, and today the plant is available with 1-inch blooms in electric hues like orange, fuchsia, red, and lavender, yellow and white, and myriad blends of these colors. New, larger-flowered purslanes, namely the variety ‘Eubi,’ are especially dramatic.

Purslane’s low-growing habit and sprawling nature make it an ideal annual for rock gardens, flower borders and hanging baskets. It’s often confused for its relative, moss rose (P. grandiflora), which has similar blooms, with thinner, pointed fleshy foliage. Purslane’s succulent, highly branched stems bear tear-drop-shaped leaves.

While individual blooms last only a day, the plant is so prolific that there’s always a colorful display. Should the plant become leggy, simply pinch back the branches and the plant will rebound with compact new growth. But don’t throw those cuttings away! Start them in the ground — purslane roots easily.

So this summer, do yourself — and your garden — a favor, and plant purslane.

Source: Neil Sperry Gardens