Portulaca portulacastrum L.
Common Name: Sea Purslane
Sea purslane is a suberect, prostrate or creeping, succulent, perennial herb, growing up to 30cm tall[
]. The thick stems form roots at the nodes[
The plant is harvested from the wild in many countries of the world and eaten as a vegetable[
]. It is sometimes sold in local markets[
]. The plant is also grown as an ornamental and as a ground cover to prevent erosion in dune vegetation[
Worldwide in Tropical and Subtropical regions.
Coastal dunes and beaches[
]. Maritime shores at about high water-level, in saline beach-dunes in the littoral, marshes, lagoons and disturbed locations in coastal areas[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Prefers a sunny position in a well-drained sandy soil[
]. The plant tolerates acidic and alkaline soils[
]. Very tolerant of salty conditions[
]. Established plants are very drought tolerant[
]. A low-maintenance plant, it needs no irrigation or fertilizer and serious diseases or pests are not known[
Plants can become troublesome weeds in rice fields[
Plants flower and fruit all year round[
]. Each flower opens for only a few hours per day[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. An excellent vegetable[
]. A salty flavour and succulent texture[
]. The leaves have the acidulous flavour of sorrel (Rumex spp. And Oxalis spp.)[
]. Because they are very salty, they need repeated boiling in fresh water[
]. They can also be pickled[
]. A good source of vitamin C[
The plant is used as a haemostatic. A decoction of the plant is considered the best antidote for stings of venomous fish; it should be applied externally for a long time[
The leaves are said to be antiscorbutic[
The plant is sometimes cultivated as a ground cover to prevent erosion in dune vegetation[
]. A pioneer sand-colonising plant that grows on the upper beach and seaward slope of the frontal dune or beach ridge. It traps and holds wind-blown sand and tends to form small ridges or mounds. It does not survive complete burial under wind-blown sand. It also grows well in more protected littoral locations and it can be included in dune revegetation programmes[
Rooted stem cuttings.
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