Don't bogart the pot(s)!
August 12, 2009 2:29 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone identify this plant?

I keep a flower/vegetable container garden out on my condo porch here in Chicago, Illinois. This year, our garden's been plagued with this uninvited species. These very fast-growing invaders seem slightly plump and "fleshy"--(perhaps a succulent?)--but I don't know if they flower because I pick them out before they get much bigger than this. Their seeds may have fallen or blown into my soil from nearby gardens (or bird feeders). Can anyone identify this plant?
posted by applemeat to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
Best answer: Looks like purslane to me.
posted by tomierna at 2:43 PM on August 12, 2009

Best answer: Hello, purslane.

It spreads like crazy. But hey, here's the good news: It's edible (so long as it's not been treated by pesticides) and is really good for you. High in omega-3s. Add it to your salads.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:10 PM on August 12, 2009

More on eatin' it.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:14 PM on August 12, 2009

My first thought also purslane. Glad to have my plant-fu confirmed.
posted by nax at 4:53 PM on August 12, 2009

yep. purslane. spreads like, well, a weed, and extremely difficult to kill if it is somewhere it is not wanted.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 5:42 PM on August 12, 2009

Response by poster: Thank-you tomierna, mudpuppie, nax and ArgentCorvid. I’d been puzzling over this for months, so you've spared me continued frustration. (I’d been thrown off because the sprouts seem to grow straight up, rather than spreading out in a mat, but I've now read that some domesticated purslane is more upright than the wild varieties.)

And mudpuppie, I ate one! It was good. Crunchy, with a mild tang. ...It seems I may never get rid of this tenacious weed, but at least I can enjoy avenging my zinnias and basil each time I chomp into one. ;-)
posted by applemeat at 7:10 PM on August 12, 2009

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