Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Exotic Weed

Last year when we found the gold mine of compost in our backyard, it brought with it a stubborn weed that I have been fighting for two seasons now.

Behold - Purslane.

purslane weed

At first I thought it was jade, so I let some of it grow among the corn. Its thick succulent leaves resemble jade, and I thought maybe someone tossed a dying Jade plant into the compost heap and a root cutting was somehow brought back to life.

But then it started multiplying, and I knew it couldn't be something good.

When it reappeared this year, I sensed some major trouble. My suspicions were confirmed the first time I hoed it all out of the garden, because every time I hoe it, it multiplies! It apparently thrives on torture!

A little research on purslane has revealed that the plant hails from India, where the leaves are eaten in salads, stir fry and soups. It is known to be high in vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids and is used as a medicinal herb for urinary tract conditions.

However interesting that might be, it's a weed to me, and I want it gone. My research has also revealed that you have to remove the entire plant - roots and all, to eradicate it. Otherwise, the roots actually produce seed and the plant continues to propagate! Ah! I guess I'll be down on my hands and knees scrubbing the soil of purslane weeds this weekend.

I showed this weed to my mother-in-law this weekend and she told me that in Honduras purslane is a house plant. When she was there this past April on a missions trip, one of the ladies that works at the orphanage tried to get her to take a purslane plant home with her to the US. Thankfully airport security confiscated it, or she would have a yard full of it now too!

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At 6:19 PM , Blogger Bardea said...

Thanks for permission on the tomato leaf roll photo. I visited the blog again today and discovered you have the same weed I have in my new garden in Montana. We got great compost from a friends mom, but it came with purslane, too. I have been careful to remove plant and roots, also thinking it was like jade. Thanks for the tips on removal. Keep up the great garden blog-nice work!


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