Purslane Growth Diary
Day 01: A single
purslane seed is about the size of a "." and upon sprouting, a little
plantlet pushes itself up through the soil or medium in which it resides.
Day 02: The baby plant sprouts cotyledons or embryonic leaves which capture the sunlight
it needs to grow. The cotyledons have a purplish-colored tint.
Day 20: True leaves emerge from the plant which are positioned in a
90° orientation from the cotyledons.
Day 30: New branches sprout from the body of the purslane plant and
grow in a radiating pattern away from the center of the original stalk.
Day 40: Yellow flowers appear on the ends of the stalks next to the
leaves. As bees and other pollinators visit, the flowers eventually become
seedpods that are colored green and then turn brown beneath the summer sun.
Day 50: Given the proper growing conditions, the plant is mature and
has a large number of seedpods that have formed throughout the plant. At
this stage, we begin collecting seedpods for PurslaneKit.com.
Day 80: The purslane plant continues to produce seeds and will
continue to grow until the temperatures begin dipping into the 40°F region.
The plant dies at the first sign of frost.
Questions and Answers
My purslane seeds haven't sprouted yet. Help!
Purslane will normally sprout within 1 week when conditions are
right. The proper conditions include warm temperatures, lots of sunlight,
and water. Remember, purslane seeds have been known to germinate decades
after being stored so exercise a little patience and you'll be rewarded
with baby sprouts.
I have a big harvest of purslane. How do I store it?
Purslane perishes in room temperature shortly after being picked although it can
be stored for a few days in the refrigerator. If you have a large amount
of purslane, you can place the stems and leaves in a food processor and
chop them up to make a chunky "pesto-like" mixture which can be stored in
the freezer. Frozen chopped up purslane can be used to thicken soups,
stews, and you can even add it to your wheatgrass for a lemony tart twist.
Why can't I just throw bags of whole purslane into the freezer?
Because you won't like how purslane looks after its been frozen. Purslane
stems and leaves are
mucilaginous and defrosting them for use in a salad, sandwich, or a cooked
dish wouldn't look too appetizing. If you don't mind the appearance of
wilted frozen purslane however, you can freeze whole bags of purslane and
use them when needed.
4) How about pickling purslane?
Pickling is an excellent alternative to freezing
purslane. To get started, rinse the purslane thoroughly and chop them into
2" segments. You can pat the segments dry or you can allow them to
air-dry. Next, place them in a glass jar and fill the jar with apple cider
vinegar or pickle juice along with 5-10 whole peppercorns and thinly
sliced garlic. Allow the purslane to pickle for 2-3 weeks before using.
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