Plant ID forum: Does wild growing purslane in New Mexico have clusters of small white flowers?

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donnaodonna
Sep 17, 2013 12:57 PM CST
I am having trouble identifying a plant that looks a lot like purslane in New Mexico. I thought purslane/wild had yellow flowers. The plant I found does not have a milky sap and is hairless. The leaves and stem look like purslane. But the plant I found has clusters of tiny white flowers. Could this also be edible purslane?

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Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Sep 17, 2013 1:48 PM CST
Thia is interesting
I have grown and eaten from the wild purselane (portulaca oleracea ) for years and never come across a white flowered one . The rest of the plant looks right but the flower wrong , not only in color but shape . Does it have 5 petals?

I Always err on the safe side do not eat unless you are positive Smiling
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.

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donnaodonna
Sep 17, 2013 1:58 PM CST
Thankyou Gardengus! This makes me nervous because I wonder if I have eaten this purslane before it had flowered. I think I've seen this plant before and remember seeing tiny bud shapes (for flowers) and remember thinking it might be a different plant other than purslane. Then seeing the white flowers, not just one but maybe up to 10 tiny ones per plant really thew me. Thanks for your help. I'm traveling so don't have plant still with me. I have seen the yellow flower of purslane but am not sure if this plant also had 5 petalled flowers. It is still a mystery to me and quite a mysterious look a like!
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Sep 17, 2013 3:16 PM CST
I am curious about the white flowered plant and will be doing some research , if I come up with anything I will post .
Maybe someone else will come along with more info?
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.

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donnaodonna
Sep 17, 2013 3:59 PM CST
Hello Gardengus, Awesome! Thankyou for looking into it.
I searched the web and didn't come up with much. Although I guess other purslanes exist...ornamental, etc. But the question remains what plant is it? Smiling I would think the flower structure is similar but not being a botanist I don't know.
Not saying that is what I found...thanks again for looking into it! I am very curious!

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donnaodonna
Sep 20, 2013 5:51 PM CST
Hello Gardengus and anyone who was wondering about this plant. I asked a Professor and sent photos to a Professor at NMSU. He believes the plant is purslane. But, the tiny white flowers are believed to be Dodder. A parasitic plant that threads in and produces tiny white flowers from formed seedpods from the parasitic plant. Wow! I sure have learned a lot! Thankyou Gardengus for you Smiling r help with this question!
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
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gardengus
Sep 20, 2013 8:03 PM CST
Thanks for the update
I could see some string like things in the photo but never even thought of dodder, that makes a lot of sense.
Dodder is a very interesting plant .I had some in my garden once and read about it , interesting reading.
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.

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donnaodonna
Sep 21, 2013 12:04 AM CST
Thankyou Gardengus. It was helpful to have a friend along for the journey! I learned a lot today. I have heard of viruses on plants and know some parasite plants exist, like mistletoe...but, hadn't thought at all about the white flowers being parasites. Now that I think back...the flowers seemed to be popping out in some random areas along the stem, etc. I hadn't even noticed the strings attatched to the plant or in the pictures. I feel this experience helped increase my awareness and observation skills. The Professor I contacted also sent an article about Dodder and I agree it was very interesting! Take care Gardengus and look forward to seeing your posts on All Things Plants!
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Sep 23, 2013 12:12 PM CST

Hope to see you around too. Smiling
Oh and Welcome! to ATP
I have found There are a great many friendly helpful people here.
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.

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donnaodonna
Sep 23, 2013 2:16 PM CST
Thankyou for the welcome Gardengus! Hurray!
I am glad to be part of the ATP community! I tip my hat to you. Thumbs up happy all things plants to you! Smiling
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Sep 23, 2013 2:40 PM CST
Amazing what we can learn just from browsing threads and forums. I never heard of Dodder until now. Thanks for your question, donnaodonna, and Cinda, thanks for your advice and suggestions as well. Something new!! I love learning new things.

Welcome to ATP, @donnaodonna !
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Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Sep 23, 2013 2:52 PM CST
Whew! Even though I'm familiar with Dodder, I didn't even notice the wiry little stems when I looked at the picture! Glad someone knew it!
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad

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donnaodonna
Sep 23, 2013 6:14 PM CST
Thankyou Sharon and Linda for your interest in this question. I am so glad I reached out online to a Professor at NMSU. He sent me a very interesting article that he co-wrote about dodder.

I am a new forager/enthusiast and it has been fascinating learning about edible wild plants. It has been a slow process. I research, reference, ask other foragers, etc. To be safe and accurate.

In the article it states that dodder can pick up toxicity from its host plant and can weaken host plant. It can cause collick sp? To livestock. I've since read that dodder is eaten as a foraged food, is high in carotenoids...this type anyway, with orange threads...and seeds have been used as food and/or herbal medicine. I really don't have the desire to forage dodder. And I guess the seeds can last in the soil up to 20 years.

Well! I wanted to share some tidbits I have learned.
Happy All Things Plants to You All! Hurray!

I agree with both of you, Linda and Sharon, it sure was a learning experience and for me has really increased my observation skills. I don't know how I missed all those orange threads. Granted I only held the stems for a few moments while I took pictures. Thanks to all for taking this plant journey with me! It certainly has been a memorable learning experience! Group hug I tip my hat to you.
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
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gardengus
Sep 24, 2013 5:51 AM CST
Maybe we should start a thread on wild eatables/ foraging in the wildflowers forum or ?
I was ordering some fall bulbs and ran across info that Camassia are good to eat and were a staple for Native Americans.
Who knew Shrug!
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.

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donnaodonna
Sep 24, 2013 8:04 AM CST
I like the idea of a thread for wild edibles Gardengus! Interesting to know about Camassia. I know there is a Death Thumbs up camass that grows in the wild but did not know there were abundant edible related species. So much to learn and lovin it! Hurray! Thumbs up
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Horntoad
Sep 24, 2013 8:35 AM CST
Here's a few shots of wild Dodder. Looks like the plants are covered with "Silly String".

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wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com



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donnaodonna
Sep 24, 2013 8:58 AM CST
Hi Horntoad! Those are great pictures of Dodder. Thankyou for posting them! Smiling
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
Native Plants and Wildflowers Critters Allowed Garden Procrastinator Herbs Vegetable Grower Plant Identifier
Organic Gardener Keeps Goats Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Composter Houseplants
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gardengus
Sep 24, 2013 12:40 PM CST
Wow
Jay
that is crazy Blinking
The only plant I have seen in person was in my garden and it did not get much of a chance to grow when I found out what it was.
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Sep 25, 2013 1:54 PM CST
Hi Donna. Welcome! to ATP. And thank you so much for this thread. It was fascinating reading. I learned much from you posting your question.
Great and interesting information from the Professor.

And sure enough, in the photo above are the little white flowers. Great photos Jay.

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donnaodonna
Sep 25, 2013 3:40 PM CST
Thankyou Valleylynn! I am glad I reached out to ATP! It has been great. I am so glad you liked my post and the info about dodder. Jay's photos and everybody's input has been very helpful and appreciated and I am grateful to the Professor at NMSU...I just sent him an email online...and he answered right away with an article about dodder. This experience has taught me a lot more about plants and I am grateful to all! I tip my hat to you. Hurray!

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