Although it is one of our favourite winter crops, Claytonia Winter Purslane is not very well known. If you’re growing it for the first time this year, rest assured it’s incredibly easy to grow, and here’s everything you need to know about it.
Winter Purslane is very rich in vitamin C and grows really well over the colder months. It’s for this reason that it became a popular crop to grow amongst miners, and in fact it is often called Miner’s Lettuce.
If you planted it out in September/October, then the plants should have a nice clump of small leaves by now. You can pick these leaves to use in salads (you can also steam them like spinach or toss them into pasta dishes) and they will soon grow back again. You can expect your winter purslane to keep providing leaves for you until February/March time when they will start to flower. The flowers are edible too, and are quite pretty so there’s no harm leaving them in the veg patch once they’re flowering to add a bit of spring colour. It self seeds easily though so you may want to pull them up before they go to seed.
The only thing to be wary of is very hard frosts. Winter purslane is really hardy, but sometimes can be affected by a particularly cruel frost – if this is the case, you can simply pick off the affected stems and they should grow back again.