Portulacaceae or the purslane family comprising 20-30 genera and some 500 species. It is cosmopolitan in distribution and has the highest diversity in semiarid regions of the Southern Hemisphere. Plant forms range from herbaceous to shrubs. Leaves tend to be succulent and composed of tissues evolved to conserve water. Flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by insects. Some species such as Portulaca grandiflora, Talinum spp., Lewisia spp. and Calandrinia spp. are grown as ornamentals. Portulaca oleracea is edible and can be eaten raw or boiled. However, the adventurous person should be wary of the slimy texture.
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