Sesuvium portulacastrum (L.) L.

Etymology Genus After Sesuvii, a Gallic tribe mentioned by Julius Caesar. Reference to plant unknown
Species Resembles plants in the genus Portulaca
Family Aizoaceae
Synonyms Portulaca portulacastrum L., Halimus portulacastrum (L.) Kuntze
Common Names Shoreline Purslane, Gelang Laut
Status Native: Common
Form Creeping herb
Native Distribution Pantropical

Diagnostics:

Sesuvium portulacastrum is a common creeping herb on the sandy beach. The only other species with succulent leaves and stems in the same habitat (that I know of) is Portulaca pilosa. The former has a visible mid-vein while the latter is not visible.


Interesting Facts:

The leaves are said to be edible, but only after repeated washing and cooking (to remove the salt) (Giesen et al., 2006). They are used as animal feed or for human consumption in Thailand.


The habit of Shoreline Purslane, often sprawling over granite boulders or the sand at the coastline.

Branching of leaves are opposite.

Leaves are succulent and do not have visible tertiary veins.

The stems are pale yellow (or reddish) and have distinct nodes.

Flowers are tiny (about 5 mm across) and pink.

Another habit shot of Sesuvium portulacastrum on the sandy beach.


References

Giesen W, S Wulffraat, M Zieren & L Scholten. (2006) Mangrove Guidebook for Southeast Asia. RAP Publication 2006/07. FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific & Wetlands International, Thailand, Bangkok. 769 pp.


Author: Jake
Posted Date: 2013-03-05 / Modified Date: 2015-01-11