Orygia portulacifolia Forssk.
Portulaca cuneifolia Vahl
Talinum cuneifolium (Vahl) DC.
Flowers and leaves
Photograph by: lalithamba
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Talinum portulacifolium is a perennial, herbaceous plant with grey, succulent stems that sprout from a thickened root that is sometimes creeping. The stems, which can sometimes become softly woody, usually grow up to 1 metres long, occasionally to 3 metres[
The plant is gathered from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It is sometimes cultivated in tropical Africa and India as a vegetable, and is also grown as an ornamental plant[
Tropical Africa - Nigeria to Ethiopia and Eritrea, south to northern South Africa; Arabian Peninsula, E. Asia - India.
Common in a wide range of habitats, from rocky locations to grassland, in open bushland and thickets, along water courses and as a weed in fields, found at elevations from sea-level up to 2,200 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
The plant is considered to be a weed within its native range[
Leaves and young stems - raw or cooked[
]. Used as a vegetable or added to salads[
]. The leafy stem parts are often cooked together with Bidens or Cleome leaves, or mixed with coconut milk or pounded groundnuts and eaten with the staple food[
]. The leaves can also be stored dry for later use[
The leaves are used in the treatment of eye diseases[
]. A decoction is used as a remedy for constipation[
The root is used in the treatment of coughs and gonorrhoea[
The plant is credited with aphrodisiac properties[
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