Family:  Portulacaceae

Synonym: Portulaca consanguinea

Common name(s): Common purslane, verdolaga, red root, or parsley

Local name: Kulpha (कुलफा)

Kulpha is a annual succulent potherb of waste ground, garden, roadside, cultivated fields and wall margins It is grown as a common weed and found upto an altitude of 1700 in Western Himalaya.

Kulpha growing wild in a natural habitat.

Kulpha grows well in sunny moist soil. Plant is a widespread succulent  that is used not only as a wild edible pot herb, but also as a traditional medicine for alleviating a wide spectrum of diseases. 

Kulpha growing wild on demarcation of concrete ground

Leaves, stem and seeds of Kulpha are edible and often harvested by inhabitants from the wild for their local use as a food and medicine. People cultivate it for their personal use also and as a commercial crop.

Sometime it is also grown as an ornamental plant. Kulpha is known for its rich nutrient value. Its young leaves are eaten raw as a salad and also used as a thickener in soups. It is greatly admired for its salty and spicy taste.   Older leaves and stem are stemmed and saluted into leafy vegetable saag.

Kulpha Plant:

Plant is an erect or prostrate or ascending, glabrous, more or less succulent, annul herbs. about 5-40 cm tall.

 Stem decumbent or prostrate, usually woody at the base, branched, sometimes slightly reddish green or purplish green, main root tuberous, fibrous, fleshy.

A Plant of Kulpha

Leaves simple, subopposite or alternate, or uppermost usually clustered, spathulate-obovate to oblong, about 5-30 x 3-15 mm across, base slightly connate, margin entire, apex obtuse, terete, axillary hairs, inconspicuous about 1 mm long, green above and paler beneath, fleshy thick, petiole subsessile to sessile.

Inflorescence axillary or terminal clusters or capituli, flowering successively, about 2-30 flowered, subtented by 2 involucre-like bracts.

Flowers bisexual, about 2.5 cm across, pedicel subsessile or sessile, open only during sunshine, bracts foliaceous, bracteoles deltoid, with inconspicuous hairs, sepals 2, ovate-deltoid, distinctly carinate, base clasping, margins scarious, deciduous, about 8 x 8 mm across, petals 4-5, red, pink, yellow, free or subconnate at the base, broadly obovate, margins entire, apex obtuse, about 3-10 x 7-8 mm across. Stamens 7-15, adnate to petals inserted on calyx, filaments basally connate, about 4 mm long, anthers 2-4 locular, dorsifixed. Ovary semi inferior, unilocular, ovules 4-many on free central placentation, style 3-5 fid, about 5 mm long.

Kulpha plant

Fruit capsule, globose-ovoid, about 4 x 3 mm across, papery, dehiscing circumscissile at the middle or at 2/3rd.

Seeds 20-25, reniform-globose, about 6-7 mm across, laterally compressed, shining black, tuberculate. small, prostrate herb, upto 30cm.

Edible plant parts of Kulpha can be harvested from rainy to autumn season. To ensure sustainable harvesting rotational collection of edible plant parts should be done,

Edible Uses:

Leaves, stem and seeds of kulpha are edible and greatly admired by people due to its salty and spicy taste. Young leaves are ingredients of soup. Leaves and stem are cooked as a potherb while seeds are ground and mixed with other cereals to trap maximum nutrients.

Harvested Kulpha Terminals

Kulpha a potherb (Saag):


Tender shoot tips and leaves of Kulpha, 1 kg; mustard oil, 2 table spoons; coriander powder 1 table spoon; fenugreek powder, ½ table spoon; cumin seed ¼ table spoon; turmeric powder, 1/4 table spoon; red chillies, 2-3; chopped onions 2-4; garlic, 4-5 cloves; ginger paste ½ table spoon and salt according to taste.



Boil chopped leaves they become soft.  Then mesh manually or in a mixer. Then sauté with hot mustard oil and the spices listed before in sequence. This sauted saag is then ready and can be served as such or can be mixed with 2 or 3 chopped onion and cooked for another 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Kulpha saag ready to serve
Kulpha saag being served with chapattis.

Food Value:

Leaves (Dry weight):

Raw kupha contain  93% water, 3% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and negligible fat (table). In a 100 gram kulpha supplies 20 calories, and rich amount of vitamin,A,1320 IU E, 12.2 mg; vitamin C, 21 mg and wide range of Vitamin B complex with moderate content of several dietary minerals  such as Ca, 65 mg; Fe, 1.99 mg; Mg, 68 mg; Mn, 0.303 mg; P44 mg; K. 494 mg, Zn.0;17mg5.

The seed (per 100g ZMB):

Contains 21g protein, 18.9g fat 3.4g ash Fatty acids of the seeds are 10.9% palmitic, 3.7% stearic, 1.3% behenic, 28.7% oleic, 38.9% linoleic and 9.9% linolenic2

Leaves (Dry weight per 100g):

Contains Calories,270; Protein: 26g; Fat: 4g; Carbohydrate: 50g; Fibre: 11.5g; Ash: 20g;Minerals – Calcium: 1500mg; Phosphorus: 550mg; Iron: 29mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 55mg; Potassium: 1800mg; Zinc: 0mg;Vitamins – A: 15000mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.35mg; Riboflavin (B2): 1.4mg; Niacin: 6mg; B6: 0mg; C: 250mg 2

 Seek advice from a professional before using this plant medicinally.

Medicinal Uses:

Except for the roots, the entire plant is used as antibacterial, anti- inflammatory and anthelminthic. It is used in treating bacillary dysentery and dysuria. A combination with equal parts of Euphorbia heterophylla  is also used. The juice extracted from 100g of pounded fresh plant and diluted with water serves as anthelminthic against oxyuriasis and ascariasis. It is administered in the morning, for 3-5 days. Poultices of fresh leaves are used to treat mastitis, boils and impetigo. The plant is antibacterial, antiscorbutic, depurative, diuretic and febrifuge 4. The leaves are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is thought to be important in preventing heart attacks and strengthening the immune system The leaves can be harvested at any time before the plant flowers, they are used fresh or dried 3. This remedy is not given to pregnant women or to patients with digestive problems 3. The seeds are tonic and vermifuge 1,3. They are prescribed for dyspepsia and opacities of the cornea 2.

Source of Income:

Kulpha leaves are sold by local people of hills in surrounding local market at the cost of Rs 30 to 40 per kg.


1.Chopra, R.N., Nayar, S.L. & Chopra, I.C (1956). Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants. CSIR, New Delhi.

2.Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. (1985);   Medicinal Plants of China reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4

3. Bown. D.(1995): Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31!

4.Purohit SS, Sharma AK, Prajapati ND, Kumar T. (2009): A handbook of medicinal plants: a complete source book. Edition.;2:352-3.

5. USDA Food Composition Databases.              

1,829 thoughts on “Portulaca oleracea L- Kulpha (कुलफा)

  1. Hi there, just was aware of your weblog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful should you continue this in future. A lot of people will likely be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

  2. fantastic put up, very informative. I wonder why the other experts
    of this sector don’t understand this. You should proceed your writing.
    I’m confident, you have a great readers’ base already!

  3. It’s actually a great and useful piece of
    information. I’m happy that you shared this helpful information with us.
    Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Hi there, I think your site might be having web browser
    compatibility issues. Whenever I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in Internet Explorer, it’s got some overlapping issues.
    I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Besides that,
    excellent website!

  5. Amazing data. Thanks a lot.
    [url=]canada prescription plus pharmacy[/url] [url=]canadian pharmacy world[/url]

  6. Nicely put. Thanks a lot.
    [url=]viagra without prescription[/url] [url=]prescription discount[/url] [url=]cvs pharmacy online[/url] [url=]northwestpharmacy[/url]

  7. I would like to voice my affection for your kindness giving support to men who should have help on this subject matter. Your personal dedication to passing the message all around came to be surprisingly advantageous and have truly made men and women much like me to achieve their endeavors. Your entire useful instruction indicates a whole lot a person like me and a whole lot more to my peers. Best wishes; from everyone of us.

  8. You actually said this exceptionally well!
    [url=]drugs for sale[/url] [url=]canada pharmaceutical online ordering[/url]

  9. Thank you! Lots of facts!

    [url=]canadian prescriptions online[/url] [url=]aarp approved canadian online pharmacies[/url] [url=]drugs for sale[/url] [url=]buy cialis online[/url]

  10. I simply wanted to develop a note in order to thank you for all the amazing secrets you are showing here. My time consuming internet search has finally been rewarded with good quality suggestions to talk about with my company. I would admit that many of us site visitors actually are really endowed to exist in a really good place with so many brilliant individuals with very beneficial tactics. I feel rather fortunate to have used your entire website page and look forward to plenty of more excellent moments reading here. Thanks a lot once more for everything.

  11. Reliable data. Cheers.
    [url=]canadian pharmacies-247[/url] [url=]ordering prescriptions from canada legally[/url] [url=]online pharmacies[/url]

  12. I enjoy you because of all of your hard work on this web site. My mom loves working on internet research and it is easy to see why. Many of us notice all about the powerful mode you convey worthwhile information on this web site and in addition foster response from other ones on the issue then our favorite princess is actually becoming educated a lot of things. Take advantage of the rest of the new year. You are carrying out a good job.

  13. Useful stuff. Kudos!
    [url=]canada pharmacies online[/url] [url=]trust pharmacy canada[/url] [url=]cheap cialis[/url] [url=]canadian online pharmacies[/url]

  14. With thanks! Numerous data!

    [url=]online pharmacies canada[/url] [url=]canadian pharmaceuticals online[/url] [url=]canada online pharmacies[/url]

  15. Superb material. Many thanks!
    [url=]cialis without a doctor prescription[/url] [url=]global pharmacy canada[/url] [url=]pharmacies in canada[/url]

  16. You’ve made your point!
    [url=]canada drugs[/url] [url=]no 1 canadian pharcharmy online[/url] [url=]global pharmacy canada[/url] [url=]canadian pharcharmy[/url] [url=]canada pharmaceuticals online[/url] [url=]provigil vs nuvigil[/url]

  17. Good facts. Thanks a lot!
    [url=]canadian pharmacy[/url] [url=]canada pharmacy[/url]