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Zones A1-A3, 1-24, H1, H2
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Portulaca oleraceae

Annuals, Herbs


Low-growing, fleshy plants. One is called a weed but can be used in cooking and salads. The others are grown for their brilliant flowers, on display from late spring until frost; generally, the blossoms open fully in bright light and close by midafternoon in hot weather.

The various plants described here thrive in high temperatures, intense sunlight. Not fussy about soil. Bright-flowered types are attractive in rock gardens, parking strips, hanging baskets, or as edgings and bank covers; they don’t require deadheading to prolong bloom.

Portulaca oleraceae

Unimproved form is thought to have originated in India; it’s an edible weed with tiny yellowflowers and plump, oval leavesto 1 1/4 in. long. Warm weatherand moisture encourage itsgrowth. Control by hoeing orpulling before it goes to seed;don’t let pulled plants lie about,since they can reroot or ripenseed. Stems and leaves can beadded to salads, soups, sauces; improved garden strains are sold for the vegetable garden.

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