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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 445. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 10/11/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project data     (Last Modified On 3/5/2012)

Portulaca oleracea aggr. [Plate 95]

Revised by A. Danin

Common name:

Purslaneרגלת הגינה ;; farfahina, rijleh (Arabic); pourpier (French)


In summer irrigated fields, opened places in orchards and gardens, disturbed ground and fissures among tiles of side-walks of urban areas in hot desert areas. The aggregate members are found all over the country.

Area distribution:

Warm-temperate regions of both hemispheres.


Plants of Portulaca were formerly used in folk medicine. Eaten as vegetable and salad (rich un Omega-3 acids), also served to feed poultry.

As a result of recent investigations (Danin et al., 1978, Danin & Reyes-Betancort 2006 and Danin et al., 2008) more than 15 taxa below the species level are recognized. These are regarded, according to the policy of OPTIMA (Greuter & al., 1984), as "microspecies". Most microspecies resemble each other in their vegetative parts and differ in their seed size and seed surface morphology. All are polyploids with 2n=36 or 54.
    Six microspecies are differenciated in Palestine according to seed size and seed coat morphology.


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Annual, glabrous, prostrate, much branching, 10-50 cm. Branches fleshy, brittle, very leafy. Leaves 1-2 cm., opposite, sessile, fleshy, obovate-oblong, entire, dark green. Flowers sessile in dense forks. Sepals unequal, up to 2 mm. broad, obtuse, keeled beneath apex. Petals about as long as sepals, ovate-oblong, retuse, open in the morning only. Stamens 8-15. Capsule 0.6-1 cm., many-seeded, pyriform-rhomboidal, opening by a lid. Seeds 0.5-1 mm. across, black, tuberculate or granulate, or smooth. 2n = 36, 54. Fl. mainly February-September.


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