Winter Purslane, Indian Lettuce, Spring Beauty, or Miner's Lettuce: All of these are names for Montia or Claytonia perfoliate, very delicious and healthy winter lettuce.
The names Indian Lettuce and Miner's Lettuce are both an indicator of the plant's derivation as it originates from the North American West Coast, where it has already been used as a food and medicinal plant by American natives at the time of Christoph Columbus. Later, at the time of the gold rush, white purslane also nourished many gold miners. That's where its journey to Europe has started. There, it can be found as a neophyte widely spread on acres and weed fields, especially in the North West, today.
Winter purslane is rich in vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, and iron and, for a leaf vegetable, contains very little nitrate. It's easy to cultivate and a true allrounder in use as every part of the plant can be processed: Leaves and stalks can be eaten as a salad when they are freshly harvested and are mild and nutty in taste like lamb's lettuce - blanched shortly they make good spinach. The blossoms are edible as well. They can be used as a decoration for salads and the closed buds can be pickled like capers. Even the roots are a tasty vegetable that, briefly boiled in water, unfold a flavour similar to water chestnuts
As a medicinal herb, purslane is said to be anti-inflammatory and antibacterial and to help against heartburn and gastritis. In former days, it has already been used against intestinal parasites due to its curative effect. It can be easily recognized by its very typical rhombic, broad leaves that can be found in fascicles. If you cut the stalks close to the ground and leave the basal leaves, the plant regrows and several harvests are possible.
750 Winter Purslane seeds