Annual growing to 4 in (10 cm) with pointed oval leaves (one pair enveloping the stem), and white 5-petaled flowers.
Habitat & Cultivation
Miner’s lettuce is native to western North America, and has become naturalized in temperate regions around the world, especially in Australia. The plant thrives in acid sandy soils. It is generally gathered from the wild before and during the flowering period. It has also been cultivated as a vegetable.
Miner’s lettuce is rich in vitamin C.
History & Folklore
Miner’s lettuce was a readily available salad vegetable on the West Coast of America. It most probably acquired its name during the California gold rush of 1849. Itinerant miners may have later taken the plant with them to Australia, where it is now common.
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Apart from its value as a vegetable, miner’s lettuce, like its relative purslane (Portulaca oleracea), may also be taken as an invigorating spring tonic and an effective diuretic.