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!
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.