Purslane is also known as pigweed, verdolaga, pigweed, little hogweed, red root, pursley, and moss rose. It can reach up to 40cm in height.
It is consumed throughout much of Asia, Middle East, Europe, and Central America.
It has smooth, red prostrate stems and alternate leaves which are clustered at stem joints and ends. The flowers open singly at the centre of the leaf cluster for only a few hours in the mornings when it is sunny.
Purslane is considered a weed in the United States however it is eaten a leaf vegetable with its stems, leaves and flower buds all being edible.
Its taste is slightly salty and sour due to malic acid which is produced through the crassulacean acid metablism pathway that is seen in many plants that live in dry conditions.
So can bearded dragons eat purslane?
Lets take a look at their nutritional data and find out more.
In particular, their acidic, calcium, phosphorus, water, protein, fat, sugar, and fibre content is of most interest when it comes to bearded dragons.
As well as this, the calcium:phosphorus ratio of the food is important as bearded dragons need as much calcium in the food as phosphorus, if not more. The idea ratio should be between 1:1 and 2:1 in favor of calcium.
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 84 kJ (20 kcal)
Vitamin A 1320 IU
Thiamine (B1) (4%) 0.047 mg
Riboflavin (B2) (9%) 0.112 mg
Niacin (B3) (3%) 0.48 mg
Vitamin B6 (6%) 0.073 mg
Folate (B9) (3%) 12 μg
Vitamin C (25%) 21 mg
Vitamin E (81%) 12.2 mg
Calcium (7%) 65 mg
Iron (15%) 1.99 mg
Magnesium (19%) 68 mg
Manganese (14%) 0.303 mg
Phosphorus (6%) 44 mg
Potassium (11%) 494 mg
Zinc (2%) 0.17 mg
Water 92.86 g
As you can see Purslane contains a good ratio of calcium to phosphorus. It is however quite acidic which is not so good. They cant manage acidic foods very well as their bodies cannot deal with the acid very well.
This means that it shouldn’t be a staple food for bearded dragons, if they nibble it they will be fine but it is not recommended as a food that should be fed purposely to them due to its acidic content.