Alice Springs Desert Park

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The Buttercup Pigweed (Portulaca intraterranea) is a small succulent that is very similar to Portulaca oleracea. Also known as pigface, Portulaca intraterranea is part of the collective group of plants commonly called purslane.

A sprawling plant that is native to arid desert regions of Central Australia. The succulent leaves are flat and hairless with blunt ends, approximately 0.5-2.5 cm long, 4-10 mm wide. The conspicuous flowers are yellow, with 5 notched petals.

This large pigweed has thick taproot that is eaten and tastes like potato.

WARNING Extreme care must be taken when identifying edible food plants and those used in bush medicine. Some bush foods are only edible at different stages of the plant cycle, or when treated appropriately. Bush medicine should only be used under the guidance of a qualified physician. Information here is only provided for research. You should always seek experts in the field to confirm the identification of the plant and whether they are edible or appropriate.

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  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Eudicots
  • Order: Caryophyllales
  • Family: Portulacaceae
  • Genus: Portulaca
  • Species: P. intraterranea
  • Binomial name: Portulaca intraterranea