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Talinum triangulare


Talinum triangulare

Family Name: Portulacaceae
Synonyms: Talinum fruticosum (illegitimate), Talinum mucronatum, Talinum revolutum
Common Name: Surinum Purslane, Ceylon Spinach, Waterleaf


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub
Lifespan (in Singapore) Annual
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Compact
Maximum Height 0.3 m to 1 m


Native Distribution Tropical Africa
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Erect herb up to 0.3-1 m tall.
Foliage Spathulate leaves are round near the tip and taper to a wedge shape at the base (3-15 cm long, 1-6 cm wide).
Flowers The inflorescence stalk is triangular in cross-section and bears a cluster of flowers known as a corymboid thyrse,.
Fruits Dry, dehiscent fruits are known as capsules. They are ellipsoid to globular and split into 2-3 compartments bearing tiny seeds.
Cultivation The leaves can be harvested for consumption from 40-55 days after sowing to 6 months with intervals of 2 weeks between harvests.
Ethnobotanical Uses Food (Fruit & Vegetable : In Southern Nigeria, the leaves and young shoots are widely eaten as a cooked vegetable, and also help to thicken sauces. In Thailand, the leaves are fried or added to soup with minced pork.)
Medicinal (

Scientific Evidence of Medicinal Properties

In pre-clinical trials, Surinam Purslane showed anti-diabetic (Babu et al., 2012), antioxidant (Liang et al., 2011) and cholesterol-lowering properties (Olorunnisola et al., 2016) in animals.


Landscaping Features

Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bee-Attracting

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Rosulate / Rosette
Foliar Attachment to Stem Sessile
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Spathulate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Emarginate, Rounded
Foliar Base Cuneate
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Pink
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Stellate / Star-shaped
Inflorescence Type Thryse

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Capsule
Mature Seed Colour(s) Black
Mature Seed Texture(s) Glossy / Shiny
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Numerous (>20)

Image Repository



Master ID 1202
Species ID 2495
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 02 October 2022.