COMMON NAME: Wingpod Purslane
BOTANICAL NAME: Portulaca umbraticola FAMILY: Portulacaceae (Purslane family)
Wingpod Purslane is often incorrectly sold under the name of Portulaca oleracea. Native to the United States, this portulaca is easily identifiable by the prominent margin on the fruit capsule. The popular cultivar Portulaca umbraticola, “Yubi Summer Joy’, has large 2 inches flowers whose flat, smooth petals curve in slightly around the edges. It blooms from spring to fall. The flowers are open only part of the day and do not open fully on very cloudy days, like all portulacas. The name “Portulaca” is a derivative of “portare” (meaning, to carry) and lac (milk) which refers to the plant’s milky sap. Seeds are formed in a tiny pod which opens when the seeds are ready. Young leaves and tender stem tips can be used as a potherb, but are usually eaten raw in salads. It has a tart, lemony taste. In fact, it is a better nutrient source than spinach. Seeds may be eaten either raw or ground and made into bread.