mardi 25 août 2009

Portulaca oleracea, the purslane 1

 is the purslane a prayer plant?

I work night and day to document the Urban Flora. Well...some nights anyway! The purslane is a fairly common inhabitant of sidewalks, curiously forming some rather big colonies on certain blocks then absent on a few neighbouring ones. It is classified as “one of the ten most noxious weeds worldwide”. Before running away let’s learn a bit more about that most interesting “pest”, one of the world’s most interesting weed.

Three years in a row while researching for my book I tried to find a specimen of it with some flowers to take a photograph. No way! I did see the flowers on the plant but that was a long time ago...I don’t remember the circumstances...So I was going early in the morning, or at noon, or on a cloudy day, or when high winds were blowing or even rain was making my quest funnier...Still no flowers!

So I thought “maybe they open at night”...No! they do not...But as a minimal reward to my dedication I discovered that the leaves fold against the stems when the sun is down...I found no reference to that fact in the litterature...interesting...but when do they flower?

Well this will turn into an fascinating enquiry and will have us travel through history and across oceans...We might even get some flowers shots!

For Rosemary the Toronto blogger: Toronto Gardening

2 commentaires:

  1. That's so cool! Thanks for photographing the purslane with the leaves folded.