Flora of the Nilgiris

Family : Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)

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Portulaca oleracea L.

Leaf arrangement

Sub-opposite, Alternate

Leaf Type


Leaf Shape

Spathulate, Obovate

Leaf Apex


Leaf Base


Leaf Margin


Habit : A prostrate succulent herb.

Habitat and Distribution : Common by arable lands, drainages, wayside, generally in clayey soils. Found in plains from the coast, 1500m, Pantropics.

Indigenous Information : Apis florea mostly observed foraging on the flowers. Leaves cooked with lentils make a tasty vegetable. Sometimes brought for sale to the local market.

Other relevent information : Caterpillars of Great and Danaid Eggfly butterflies feed on this plant. Leaves used in salads. Stems pickled and used in traditional medicine.

Field Tips : Stem reddish. Herb black when dry. Flowers open by morning and close by midday.


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English : Common Purselane
Irula : Goni soppu
Tamil : Vazhukkaikeerai, Pasalekeerai
Hindi : Khursa, Badi-noni


In terminal clusters, rarely solitary, yellow. Flowering throughout the year.

Fruit :

A capsule, ovoid, glabrous. Seeds many. Fruiting throughout the year.

All from Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)