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applestar
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Aww - did the Shoemaker's Elve's relatives move into your garden? They're feasting on your purslane right now, you know? :lol:

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Gary350
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I have been fighting those plants in my garden for years. I have discovered the plant make 1000s of very tiny seeds. You need to cut or pull the plants when they are small and pick up the plants and take them away the cut plants will make seeds before it dies. It takes several years to retuce the population because the soil is already full of those tiny seeds. I have never eaten them, I didn't know I could. In the early spring it is the first thing to grow my entire yard is covered with a carpet of 1000s of tiny flowers. It looks real nice for several weeks then the grass grows and the plants are hard to see but they are still there.

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!potatoes!
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i posted this in another thread, but with all the lamb's quarter and green amaranth in my garden, i've been eating probably twice as much weeds as i am intentional-greens this year...haven't seen any purslane all year, though.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: purslane potato salad

rainbowgardener wrote:I didn't know it was edible! What a treat! So I looked up "purslane recipes" and found this:

Purslane-Potato Salad

From THE WILD VEGETARIAN COOKBOOK

Purslane makes this familiar dish seem ambrosial.
6 medium potatoes, sliced and cooked
2 cups purslane, chopped
4 scallions, sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 cup mayonnaise
Mix together all ingredients. Serve chilled.

Serves 6

I have to try it!
I never had actually made this, but I had a big purslane plant crowding out my container dwarf blueberry bush, so I pulled it and made this. Left out the scallions but added 2 fresh picked garden tomatoes chopped in to it. It is yummy! (and the purslane is very nutritious!)
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:lol: Man, I learn something new every time I visit this forum.

I just looked at this same "weed" about 10 min. ago and thought to myself that in a week or so I'll have to hoe the rows again. Perhaps I'll re-think that :wink:.

I'm going to have to do a bit more research, though, before I eat any of it. I believe you all that it's edible, but I want to make sure that it is really what I have growing and that there aren't any "look-a-like" plants that could be poisonous.

Still something interesting to know, though :).
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rainbowgardener
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Well, I just ate a bunch of mine. If I die, I'll be sure to let you know! :)
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orgoveg
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Purslane can be confused with spurge, which is poisonous. The two are easily distinguishable, but they tend to grow in the same places. If you're not paying attention, you could pick some with your purslane.

Purslane has "meatier" leaves, while spurge leaves are flat with purplish or whte markings.

Below is a photo of spurge in my neighbor's driveway.

[img]https://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/abaction/spurgersd.jpg[/img]

cynthia_h
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Yes; the leaves of purslane (Spanish: Verdolaga or Verdolagas) look like those of a succulent.

And the stuff is good raw or sautéed.

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john gault
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I have purslane in my yard as well and my question is, why don't the bugs seem to bother it if it's so succulent and nutritious?

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rainbowgardener
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Because it is not native

"Purslane has been cultivated for centuries in the areas of its origin; China, India, and Egypt for its succulent shoot tips, stems, and leaves."


All these exotics get so invasive partly because they have no insects or diseases here to keep them in check. They didn't evolve here, so nothing evolved with them, to be able to use them or get around their defenses.

A nice illustration of the problem with invasive exotics. It just happens that it is edible for humans, probably because we did evolve with them at some point.
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I'm sure that's part of the reason (on some level), but it doesn't explain everything. There are some non-natives that will be gobbled up by insects/animals and some that seem to fit nicely into an introduced environment. And then you got the invasives...

How many gardeners truly raise a native garden, especially when it comes to fruits/vegetables. Yeah then you got the hybrids, which in a way is not native to anything...

This is all very complicated, granted I'm confused by the issue -- no arguement there -- but very interested; I can't seem to find reading material to address these questions, but not done looking...

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applestar
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I'm not sure what aspect of native species and gardening you are interested in, but you may find some discussions interesting in Gardening with Native Species Forum
:arrow: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=28

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rainbowgardener
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Now we are drilling down deeper into the question and maybe past my level of knowledge. But perhaps the purslane has no close relatives native here? The introduced species that our native insects adapt to best tend to be ones that though introduced had close relatives here, especially other species in the same genus. It's not as big a gap to bridge.

Interesting questions!
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Read Noah's Garden & Planting Noah's Garden by Sara Stein or Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Doug Tallamy for more on the natives vs invasives issue and how exotics function/ don't function in the environment.
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john gault
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O.K., I found the first one in my local library will keep looking of the second one.

BTW, I'm very interested in this subject, but regardless of what I read I'm still going to plant them non-native fruits and vegetables :wink:

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rainbowgardener
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well if you want to grow food, you have to be pretty hard core to limit yourself to natives. And many veggies are annuals. Since we tend not to let them go to seed any way they aren't going to spread. So your veggie garden takes up a bit of space that other wise could be natives, but that's not such a big deal.

Much more important is all the non-veggie garden parts of your yard, which for most suburbanites, is most of it. We could make a huge difference in protecting native species, not only of plants, but insects, birds, frogs, and many other animals, if we ripped out most of the lawn, all of the non-native flower beds and replaced with a diversity of native flowers, berries and other shrubs and trees. And it looks beautiful! Sara Stein is really good on the why and how of this (and her writing is beautiful, unlike Doug Tallamy who is more a hard science guy with a very pedestrian writing style).
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Interesting discussion, everyone!

A thought that comes to my mind is if purslane is native to the orient and middle east, would we encounter pest problems if we tried to grow it there?
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applestar
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What Rainbow said! ... and in order to and by creating a bio-diverse wildlife rich environment, you automatically limit the use of harmful chemicals and XXX-cides surrounding you and your family's environment as well as encourage and foster helpful teams of Garden Patrol. Win-win!! :()

orgoveg
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Hey, Rainbow-

Did you know about this?

https://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/farmlife/entries/2011/08/01/wildlife_native_plants_doug_ta.html?cxtype=feedbot

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rainbowgardener
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no, but I've heard him talk before. He's a good speaker and has tons of great information.
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rainbowgardener
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garden5 wrote:Interesting discussion, everyone!

A thought that comes to my mind is if purslane is native to the orient and middle east, would we encounter pest problems if we tried to grow it there?
Might.. theory says it would be expected to be a less rampant spreader and more in balance. I haven't been there or seen any one provide evidence of whether it actually works like that, but it makes sense. Less rampant spreader can mean there are insects/ diseases that keep it in check or other native plants that compete with it better, etc.
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rainbowgardener wrote:Read Noah's Garden & Planting Noah's Garden by Sara Stein or Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Doug Tallamy for more on the natives vs invasives issue and how exotics function/ don't function in the environment.
Thanks again Rainbow, I just placed these books on hold at the library:

- Planting Noah's garden : further adventures in backyard ecology / Stein, Sara Bonnett.

- My weeds : a gardener's botany / Stein, Sara Bonnett.

- Noah's garden : restoring the ecology of our own back yards / Stein, Sara Bonnett.

And I found Doug Tallamy's book at my local branch of the library, so no need to place on hold.

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Enjoy! :)
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ok... I think this is whats growing in all my beds... never had it before, but this year I got a bag of steer manure to help the garden and since then my garden is full of this stuff... well this or the poisonous stuff. Either way I am constantly finding myself pulling it out of everywhere!!! :x
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rainbowgardener
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cherishedtiger wrote:ok... I think this is whats growing in all my beds... never had it before, but this year I got a bag of steer manure to help the garden and since then my garden is full of this stuff... well this or the poisonous stuff. Either way I am constantly finding myself pulling it out of everywhere!!! :x
Go back to page 1 of this thread, there's a good picture. Purslane is quite distinctive in looks and texture, with thick leaves a bit like a succulent. The point we have been making is, if that is what your garden is full of, consider yourself lucky and start eating it!
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cherishedtiger
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Yeah looked at the photos, I am thinking mine is the latter... the poisonous one as the leaves are thin and have the purple markings... I am not going to risk it, I just pull and toss!
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