NYU Garden Shop Plant of the Week
By Head Gardener, George Reis
Tuesday August 9, 2011
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) can be found in various garden areas and containers around NYU.
Weedy Purslane grows all over the place in NYU's garden areas and even in planters. You won't see it very much because we're busy weeding it out. So where else can you find it? It's also available in farmer's markets (I've seen it sell for $4/lb.) and in salad mixes served by fine restaurants around town. It may sound strange that a plant we typically think of as a weed, one that many people spend time and money to remove with herbicides, has real nutritional value. This comes as no surprise to gardeners of course, who these days are passing around Richard Mabey's terrific new book Weeds: In Defense of Nature's Most Unloved Plants. Weeds were our first food crops and medicines, and there's a growing movement in sustainable horticulture these days to consider their current value as providers of various types of ecological services. It's a fascinating line of inquiry... I don't recommend munching on a plant around here you THINK is Purslane (it may not actually be an edible weed, so beware) but I do recommend learning more about it from one of my design professors at Columbia, Jan Johnsen (an NYU parent, by the way!). You can see her take on Purslane on her excellent blog Serenity in the Garden here.
Previous Plants of the Week:
August 2, 2011
Feather Reedgrass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster') in the triangle at the corner of Mercer Street and Bleecker Street.
July 26, 2011
Panicle Hydrangea 'Limelight' (Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight') on the Bleecker Street side of Coles Sports Center, 181 Mercer Street.
July 19, 2011
Cutleaf Coneflower (Rudbeckia lacinata) north of the entrance to the Coles Sports Center, 181 Mercer Street.
July 12, 2011
Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) on the Bleecker Street side of Coles Sports Center, 181 Mercer Street.
Dense Blazing Star
July 5, 2011
Dense Blazing Star (Liatris spicata) in Mercer Plaza, 251 Mercer Street.
June 28, 2011
Wild Bergamot (Monarda spp.) on the west side of Coles Sports Center, 181 Mercer Street.
Hearts of Gold Redbud
June 21, 2011
Hearts of Gold Redbud (Cercis canadensis 'Hearts of Gold') in the west section of the Bleecker Street sidewalk at #3 Washington Square Village.
June 15, 2011
Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) in the middle section of the Bleecker Street sidewalk between #3 and #4 Washington Square Village.
June 8, 2011
Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) in the lobby garden at #3 Washington Square Village.
May 31, 2011
Wild Indigo (Baptisia Australis) in Mercer Plaza, 251 Mercer Street.
Arkansas Blue Star
May 24, 2011
Arkansas Blue Star (Amsonia hubrichtii) on the west side of Coles Sports Center, 181 Mercer St.
Sunny Knock Out Rose
May 17, 2011
Sunny Knock Out Rose (Rosa 'Radsunny') at 251 Mercer St.
Red Ruby Swiss Chard
May 10, 2011
Red Ruby Swiss Chard (Beta vulgaris 'Ruby Chard') sidewalk planters on Greene Street between W 4th Street and Washington Place.
May 3, 2011
Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) at Founders Hall, 120 East 12th St.
Japanese Flowering Cherry
April 25, 2011
Japanese Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata), or 'Kwanzan,' on the Bleecker Street side of Cole Sports Center, 181 Mercer Street.
April 19, 2011
Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana)
April 12, 2011
Daffodil (Narcissus spp.) in the sidewalk median at 100 Bleecker Street.
April 5, 2011
Lenten Rose (Helleborus x hybridus) in the sidewalk median at 100 Bleecker Street.
March 29, 2011
Camellia 'April Remembered' (Camellia japonica 'April Remembered') at Coles Sports Center, 181 Mercer Street.
Mar 22, 2011
Coral Bark Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum 'Sango Kaku') at Glucksman Ireland House
Mar 18, 2011
NYU Garden Shop Plant of the Week---Witch-hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia) at #2 Washington Square Village Lobby Garden. (interior of Washington Square Village, W 3rd Street just west of Mercer)
Mar 8, 2011
Crocus species mix on Bleecker Street side of NYU Coles Sports Center