Forage Wild Food

Foraging for purslane: A tasty, juicy wild food

Purslane – Portulaca oleracea
(In Irish: Puirpín)

Surviving in the wild is not easy – not only do you have to weather yourself against the elements, but you also have to find a way to sustain your energy too! This time I’m looking at purslane.

This survival series looks at the many wild foods that you can come across on your travels, that you can safely forage and snack on when you need to.

Water purslane

A succulent plant that can be found in many countries, purslane is a very rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which strengthens the immune system.

You often find this delicious plant in driveways and footpaths but they also tend to crop up in all sorts of gardens, fields and roadsides.

Flowering Period

Water Purslane calendar of when it is in flower. June, July, August, September and October are marked in red.

With a distinctive thick and reddish stem, this plant is easily recognisable and what’s great is that you can eat the leaves, stems and flower buds!

It’s said that purslane provides six times more vitamin E than spinach and seven times more beta-carotene than carrots.

Close up of Portulaca oleracea - an annual succulent in the family Portulacaceae.
Portulaca oleracea is an annual succulent in the family Portulacaceae.

Purslane can be snapped up and used in salads or sprinkled on top of any dish – it’s really tasty, trust me!

As with all foraged things, cross-reference any food before you pick it up and don’t forget to wash it thoroughly before consuming.

Happy foraging!

(Lead image via Wikimedia Commons/TonRulkens)

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