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PURSLANE, the common name for a small fleshy annual with prostrate stems, entire leaves and small yellow flowers, known botanically as Portulaca oleracea. It is a native of India, which was introduced into Europe as a salad plant, and in some countries has spread so as to become a noxious weed. In certain parts of the United States the evil qualities of " pussly" have become proverbial. Its juice is refreshing and is used in tropical countries as a refrigerant in fever. Some of the species of the same genus, such as P. grandiflora and its varieties, are grown in gardens on rock-work owing to the great beauty and deep colouring of their flowers, the short duration of individual blossoms being compensated for by the abundance with which they are produced.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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