Purslane vs. Miner’s Lettuce

Some people have mentioned in passing that they believe purslane and miner’s lettuce to be the same thing, so I thought I’d try to set the record straight!

Veronica peregrina from USDA.gov

Miner's Lettuce from USDA.gov

Purslane, if you live in Boise, probably grows all over your garden. I’d never seen it in abundance until I lived here. There are so many varietals of purslane, and you can actually grow a variety that is thicker and larger than the weed. Edwards Greenhouse usually carries those, but I don’t know if they do this year.

The purslane in your garden, Veronica peregrina, is a succulent, high in Omega 3 fatty acids, and should be used just like any salad green or eaten raw. The leaves are a dark green, usually, with sometimes reddened edges. The leaves are about an inch long or less, a quarter inch wide, and thick. The stems feel substantial when you pick them up.

Miner’s lettuce feels weak in comparison, and it’s a very dainty plant. It should also be eaten raw, though some allegedly cook it but I don’t think it would hold up. The leaves are an oval, plate like shape, which come to two points. Some are tart flavored, although yesterday I came across some that had a mild, nutty flavor.

Both purslane and miner’s lettuce have tiny inconspicuous white flowers.

I’ve found miner’s lettuce in the foothills of Boise most often.


2 thoughts on “Purslane vs. Miner’s Lettuce

  1. Miner’s lettuce shows up in early spring, is abundant in the mountains (I have a huge patch at my place in Cascade) and purslane shows up later (June-July), and is common in garden and flower beds in the Treasure Valley. Both are super yummy in salads or for just grazing. Purslane also has cooling properties and can be used in poultices for inflammation.

    • Thanks for these tidbits! I appreciate the extra knowledge. Now you’ve made me think that I should head up to the Lake Cascade area this weekend.

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