I had to laugh when I received a sample of a new ornamental purslane earlier this spring from PanAmerican Seed.
This is Portulaca oleracea ‘Toucan Fuchsia’, not to be confused with Purslane-the-Weed, also Portulaca oleracea, but without the beautiful flowers.
Long-time readers of my blog—and I do mean long-term as in those who read it in the aughts—may remember that purslane is a weed that likes to take over in my vegetable garden about this time every summer.
I first wrote about purslane-the-weed in my garden in 2006. That, as they say, was a long time ago. Then later in 2010, I had an intervention from the good Dr. Hortfreud relative to the purslane in my garden.
In more modern times I wondered if purslane was the gillyweed Harry Potter ate that allowed him to stay underwater for longer. (At least, I think that’s what the gillyweed was used for…)
That’s three references to purslane I found without looking very hard. I could find more but I think that’s enough to prove how much I’ve written about it in the past.
In the present day, purslane-the-weed is still a problem for me.
I spent a good amount of time Wednesday morning weeding in my vegetable garden and pulled out some of the biggest, healthiest purslane plants I’ve ever seen in my garden. I have to assume it is because I’m fertilizing the actual garden plants every week this summer, and purslane-the-weed is sucking up those extra nutrients and supersizing itself. I know the actual garden plants look better this year too.
No longer. Time is up for purslane-the-weed. I pulled a lot of it and it is now in a trash bag in the trash bin at the curb waiting to be carted off to the city incinerator where it will meet its demise in short order.
I really shouldn’t sound so happy, almost gleeful, about the incineration of all the ‘pusley’ as it is called by some. Instead, I should consider growing purslane-the-weed professionally, I grow it so well. And if it looked like Purslan-the-Pretty-Flower ‘Toucan Fuschia’ I’d consider it.
That would be pretty!
But it doesn’t, so I’m going to keep pulling it out. I’ll never be rid of it completely because as Charles Dudley Warner wrote in 1899, “They grow as if the devil is in them.” And we know the devil doesn’t give up that easy. But I’ll stay strong and I won’t give up and let purslane-the-weed take over my garden.
But just for fun, and perhaps irony, I’ll grow Purslane-the-Pretty-Flower, but in a separate pot well away from the vegetable garden!
(At this point, you are probably getting ready to hit that comment key so you can remind me that purslane is edible and nutritious and I should eat my weeds. Thanks for the thought and extra information. I know all that and I once even tried a bite or two of purslane soup at a dinner I went to, but I just couldn’t get past how weedy it is my garden.)