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    1. Purslane is very succulent and spurge is not. Purslane smells like lettuce and spurge smells sharp and strong. I cannot imagine ever confusing the two. The trick is to thoroughly identify plants with the help of someone who is experienced. Take time to become very familiar with each plant before moving on to the next and you will not likely experience confusion.

      1. Spurge likes to grow intermixed with purslane and because it is smaller and thinner, it may get missed before the purslane goes in the pot. So check your purslane (verdolagas) well.
        Desert Tortoises like, and can eat spurge though.

  1. When we moved to our new home this past spring, we got a trailerload of mulch from the city to spread over our garden. Within a few days, the whole garden began to sprout small plants. They were all purslane. I covered most of the area with landscape cloth and straw, but left a small area for the purslane to grow. Around here, the locals call it pigweed, and it’s considered a nuisance. I suspect that any “weeds” that were considered undesirable to have growing in one’s garden were tossed to the pigs, and all were designated “pig weed.”
    It’s delicious, by the way.
    Thanks again for your wonderful article. A nice addition would be a bibliography of useful books for those of us who are beginning herbalists.

  2. Several people have requested a list of books. I have so many herb books.

    The first thing I would recommend is that you get a good field guide for your area. Hopefully, that will make sure you don’t get anything poisonous.

    For herbal medicine (I have shelves and shelves of them) my favorites are:

    The School of Natural Healing, by Dr. Christopher
    Making Plant Medicine, by Richo Cech
    Herbal Antivirals and Herbal Antibiotics, both by Stephen Harrod Buhner

    However, please note that my favorites might not be your favorites, and most importantly, you can never have too many herbal medicine books.

  3. I like Samuel Thayer’s books. I particularly like “Nature’s Garden, A Guide to Identitying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants”. In there is a chapter dedicated to acorns- how to harvest and find the ones lowest in tannin, how to process, and how to store. It’s the most comprehensive info on acorns I’ve seen.

    I also like HerbalGram- a quarterly journal. It’s pricy, I read it at the library. But I believe they have an online presence.

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