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Sesuvium portulacastrum - (L.)L.

Common Name Sea Purslane, Shoreline seapurslane
Family Aizoaceae
USDA hardiness 8-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Coastal dunes and beaches[265].
Range Worldwide in Tropical and Subtropical regions.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Sesuvium portulacastrum Sea Purslane, Shoreline seapurslane

Sesuvium portulacastrum Sea Purslane, Shoreline seapurslane


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Sesuvium portulacastrum is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. It is in flower from May to July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


nomenclatural synonym:(Portulacaceae) Portulaca portulacastrum

Plant Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Leaves - raw or cooked[301, 398]. An excellent vegetable[193]. A salty flavour and succulent texture[301]. The leaves have the acidulous flavour of sorrel (Rumex spp. And Oxalis spp.)[299]. Because they are very salty, they need repeated boiling in fresh water[299]. They can also be pickled[301 ]. A good source of vitamin C[301]. The plant is harvested from the wild in many countries of the world and eaten as a vegetable[299 ]. It is sometimes sold in local markets[398 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The plant is used as a haemostatic. A decoction of the plant is considered the best antidote for stings of venomous fish; it should be applied externally for a long time[299 ]. The leaves are said to be antiscorbutic[299 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

The plant is sometimes cultivated as a ground cover to prevent erosion in dune vegetation[299 , 398 ]. A pioneer sand-colonising plant that grows on the upper beach and seaward slope of the frontal dune or beach ridge. It traps and holds wind-blown sand and tends to form small ridges or mounds. It does not survive complete burial under wind-blown sand. It also grows well in more protected littoral locations, and it can be included in dune revegetation programmes[299]. Pollution control: potential for phytoremediation in heavy metal polluted sites. Ornamental groundcover. Revegetator for salty areas in the United Arab Emirates.

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Sea purslane is a suberect, prostrate or creeping, succulent, perennial herb growing up to 30cm tall[299 ]. The thick stems form roots at the nodes[299 ]. Prefers a sunny position in well-drained sandy soil[299 ]. The plant tolerates acidic and alkaline soils[299 ]. Very tolerant of salty conditions[299 ]. Established plants are very drought-tolerant [299 ]. A low-maintenance plant, it needs no irrigation or fertilizer and serious diseases or pests are not known[299 ]. Plants can become troublesome weeds in rice fields[398 ]. Plants flower and fruit all year round[299 ]. Each flower opens for only a few hours per day[299 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant Propagation

Seed. Rooted stem cuttings.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Sea-purslane, Shoreline Sea-purslane, Akulikuli, Beldroega-da-praia, Bossaha, Burunque, Cenicilla, Dampalit, Dhapa, Enhade, Erwi, Gelang laut, Gelang pasir, Haichau, Jadu palang, Krokot, Lonumagoo, Meerportulak, Nuntashak, Pourpier de mer, Sagu sagu, Samphire, Sepit-sepit, Sepit, Sesepit, Strandpostelein, Taraumpalit, Te boi, Uondgi, Van kiru valai, Vangarreddi kura, Vungaravasee, Vungaravasi. [1-4]

Africa, American Samoa, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua, Argentina, Asia, Australia, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central Africa, Central America*, Chile, China, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Dominican Republic, East Africa, East Timor, Easter Island, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guiana, Guianas, Guinea, Guinée, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Hawaii, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Liberia, Malaysia, Maldives, Marquesas, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, New Caledonia, Nigeria, Norfolk Island, North America, Pacific, Paraguay, Papua New Guinea, PNG, Philippines, Sao Tome and Principe, SE Asia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Southern Africa, South America, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela, Vietnam, West Africa, West Indies. [1-4]

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Plants can become troublesome weeds in rice fields[398 ].

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Shoreline Purslane Sesuvium portulacastrum has most recently been assessed for The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2020. Sesuvium portulacastrum is listed as Least Concern.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Diana Panaguiton   Tue Oct 19 09:38:44 2004

I wish have a study in this plant, for our investigatory project, I am Diana Panaguiton, a student of Capiz National High School(Special Science and Technology Class), Roxas City. Can I please have an email on the chemical analysis of this plant (Sesuvium portulacastrum) as a guide for my study. It will really be of great help. thanks.

Sheila So   Tue Jul 4 2006

We, a group of UST (University of Santo Tomas) Pharmacy 4th year students who is currently working on our undergraduate research paper regarding Sesuvium portulacastrum would like to request pharmacological as well as phytochemical studies conducted on the said plant - studies could be in published, scholarly journals or books. This would serve as supplemental background for our study. These reading materials about said plant would be able to make our study more feasible and reliable. We are hoping for your soonest possible response regarding the matter. The following articles whether from journals or books are requested to be sent to the following email address: [email protected] or [email protected]. Thank You and God Bless! Sincerely Yours, Sheila So

student   Sat Sep 22 2007

HoalohaAina.com there is a description of some of the useful properties of 'akulikuli (Hawaiian name of sea purslane)

student   Sat Sep 22 2007

I've been reading up on this plant and it appears to filter out and neutralize toxins in the water as well as clearing out pond scum and algae (don't ask me how)

Kyla Tucker   Tue May 15 2007

Hi. I am researching native vegetation of Baja, Mexico and I would like to know if Sesuvium portulacastrum is native to the Baja peninsula. I would greatly appreciate any information you can provide. Thanks, Kyla Tucker

Jock   Sun Sep 23 2007

Sesuvium is a tasty salad treat - I've eaten myself with olive oil and vinegar - this is the way it prepared in New Caledonia. Quite tasty.

hanika   Fri Nov 16 2007

can i have details about biochemical reactions of this plant..i m hanika..doing my project in this plant it wil be very helpful to me..can u please send me mail to [email protected]

Green Deane   Fri May 8 2009

You say it has no known edible uses. I've eaten it raw and cooked here in Florida. I have an article and a video on it, the article on site, the video on You TUbe.


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