Portulaca toston Blanco
Portulacastrum monogynum (L.) Medik.
Trianthema flexuosa Schumach. & Thonn.
Trianthema littoralis Cordem.
Trianthema monanthogyna L.
Trianthema monogyna L.
Trianthema obcordata Roxb.
Trianthema procumbens Mill.
Verbesina aquatica Noronha
Common Name: Horse Purslane
Horse purslane is an annual, succulent, prostrate or ascending herb, often much-branched, growing up to about 60 cm tall, with a firm taproot[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use. It has a number of medicinal virtues and is sometimes also eaten, though there are conflicting reports on the wisdom of this. The dried plants are sometimes traded for their medicinal qualities[
The young tops and leaves are sometimes eaten, but, especially if older leaves are eaten, the plant may cause diarrhoea or paralysis[
The seeds are harmful contaminants in food grains and other crop seeds[
Throughout the Tropics and subtropics.
Wastelands, roadsides, lawns, gardens, cultivated crops, and paddy fields if the water supply is low. Occasionally in perennial crops and pastures, especially in subhumid and semiarid regions[
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The plant has escaped from cultivation and become an aggressive weed in many parts of the tropics[
A fast growing plant, it starts to produce flowers and seeds 20 - 30 days after germination[
Leaves - raw[
]. A delightful salty flavour, they are delicious in salads[
]. The young tops and leaves are sometimes eaten[
]. There are reports that eating the leaves, especially the older ones, may cause diarrhoea or paralysis[
The roots are abortifacient (in large doses), cathartic, emmenagogue and stomachic properties[
]. They are used to relieve obstructions of the liver, and to relieve asthma and amenorrhoea[
]. A decoction of the powdered root is taken to treat venereal discharge[
The leaves are diuretic[
]. They are used in the treatment of oedema, jaundice, strangury and dropsy[
]. The old leaves are used in a treatment against gonorrhoea[
The fleshy nature of the leaves makes them suitable for use as a wound-dressing or poultice[
A decoction of the herb is used as a vermifuge and is useful in rheumatism; it is considered an antidote to alcoholic poisoning[
]. The powdered herb is taken in cases of venereal discharge[
The plant contains the alkaloid trianthemine and the steroid ecdysterone[
]. The seeds contain 12.5% of a fatty oil, and the leaves contain carotene and oxalates[
Pharmacological investigations of extracts of the plant revealed beneficial effects on the liver[
An ethanol extract of the plant has also shown some effects on blood pressure[
The plant has a potential value as a source of organic matter because it contains considerable amounts of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus[
The plant shows allelopathic effects on other weeds and crops including sorghum, pumpkin, eggplant, radish, several pulses and wheat, by inhibiting seed germination and vigour of seedlings. Interestingly, it is also auto-toxic, since plant extracts reduce its own seed germination, shoot length and vigour[
Seed - sown in situ, it germinates at temperatures between 20 - 45°c, with an optimum at 35°c[
]. More than 50% of fresh seeds germinate within 4 - 8 days of incubation[
]. When stored under field conditions, germination increases during 7 - 8 months[
]. Optimum sowing depth is 1cm[
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