Here’s another unknown plant blooming in Va’s aunt’s yard:

Unknown Asterid

Unknown Asterid

The common purslane (Portulaca oleracea) from yesterday is an edible plant. Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia:

At night its leaves trap carbon dioxide, which is converted into malic acid (the souring principle of apples), and in the day, the malic acid is converted into glucose. When harvested in the early morning, the leaves have 10 times the malic acid content as when harvested in the late afternoon, and thus have a significantly more tangy taste.

So naturally (and being confident of the id), I sampled it this morning with the intent of nibbling on a little more later in the day. The morning sample was tasty indeed, but I was not able to try it in the afternoon.

And of course, my Dad knew what it was. He said they would pick buckets of the stuff and feed it to the pigs. The pigs would eat all of that first, and as a result, they used to call it “pigweed.” Wikipedia lists “pigweed” as one of its common names, but pigweed is an epithet used for many other plants as well.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll get a shot at eating some later-in-the-day purslane/pigweed/Portulaca oleracea.

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