<botany> An annual plant (Portulaca oleracea), with fleshy, succulent, obovate leaves, sometimes used as a pot herb and for salads, garnishing, and pickling. Flowering purslane, or Great flowered purslane, the Portulaca grandiflora. See Portulaca. Purslane tree, a South African shrub (Portulacaria Afra) with many small opposite fleshy obovate leaves. Sea purslane, a seashore plant (Arenaria peploides) with crowded opposite fleshy leaves. Water purslane, an aquatic plant (Ludwiqia palustris) but slightly resembling purslane.
Origin: OF. Porcelaine, pourcelaine (cf. It. Porcellana), corrupted fr. L. Porcilaca for portulaca.
(01 Mar 1998)
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