Definition of purslane in US English:



  • Any of a number of small, typically fleshy-leaved plants that grow in damp habitats or waste places.

    Sesuvium maritimum (sea-purslane), an edible plant that grows in damp sand along coastal shores

    Portulaca oleracea, a prostrate North American plant with tiny yellow flowers

    • ‘The smell of fresh mint, of a bunch of purslane, the availability of baby aubergines, broad beans or peas makes me want to cook.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, I can thoroughly recommend purslane (call it pussley or pigweed if you will) as a delicious vegetable.’
    • ‘The plant sources are flax seed, walnuts, and purslane, a succulent weed.’
    • ‘Vegetables rich in glutathione include asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes and purslane.’
    • ‘Sprinkle with cracked pepper and garnish with purslane.’


Late Middle English: from Old French porcelaine, probably from Latin porcil(l)aca, variant of portulaca, influenced by French porcelaine ‘porcelain’.