WorldCrops - World Crops for the Northeastern United States

Verdolaga Portulaca oleracea

Verdolaga for sale at market in Morelia Mexico in 2007(Photo by Frank Mangan)

Verdolaga is a vegetable green used in many Latin American countries. It is also popular as a salad green in France and other European countries. It is believed to be native to Iran or India, although it was present in the New World at the time of European colonization.

Many farmers in the Northeast know it as the herbaceous weed, common purslane (also Portulaca oleracea). There are cultivated varieties that grow in a more upright fashion than the weed and are used for markets.

Purslane is valued for its high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids; it is considered to higher levels of this essential fatty acid than any other vegetable

The weed common purslane (Portulaca oleracea) at a farm in Massachusetts (Photo by Frank Mangan)

There are farmers in Massachusetts that promote the growth of the weed common purslane and harvest them for ethnic markets. There are horticultural varieties which are larger and grow more upright than the wild species.

Verdolaga can be direct seeded or as a transplant. Trials at UMass used transplants with three – four plants in each plug. For production of the wild type, one farmer disks a field that is infected with common purslane to encourage uniform growth.

Horticultural variety verdolaga, "Golden Red Purslane"”, gorn at the UMass Research Farm, for sale at a market in Watertown MA(Photo by Frank Mangan)

Seed Sources
Two horticultural varieties, "Goldberg Golden Purslane" and “Gruner Red Purslane” are available from Johnny's Selected Seeds

Processed vedolaga for sale at a Latino market in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Frank Mangan)

Nutrional Information
It is an excellent source of Vitamin A (100 g provides 44% of RDA). Purslane is also a rich source of vitamin C, and some B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and carotenoids, as well as dietary minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese.

Nutrition Documents
Viva FreshPasta Purslane Summer Salad

A collaborative project produced by: Rutgers Cooperative Extension, UMASS Extension, and Cornell Cooperative ExtensionSponsored in part by: RMA and Northeast Region SARE
WorldCrops - World Crops for the Northeastern United States