Distribution of Portulaceaceae:
It is represented by about 20 genera and 500 species. From India only 7 species have been reported.
Economic Importance of Portulaceaceae:
- Food: Portulaca oleracea is used as pot herb and in salad.
- Medicine: Portulaca oleracea is also used in the ailments of kidney and urinary bladder. Portulaca quadrifida is effective in cough and asthma.
- Orname ntal:Many garden varieties of Calandrinia, Lewisia, Portulaca and Talinum are cultivated.
Affinities of Portulaceaceae:
Bentham and Hooker included the Portulacaceae in the Caryophyllales. Rendle Lawrence placed it under the Centrospermae. Like the Caryophyllaceae, the Portulacaceae has come from the same source – the Phytolacaceae. The floral type of Portulaca evolved by the disappearcence of the inner whorl of capsules and by the juxtaposition of a pair of bracteoles to the flower to form the dimerous calyx.
The Portulacaceae shows close relationship with the Basellaceae, as the genera Portulacaria and Phillippiamra stand intermediate between the two families. Within the Portulacaceae, the genera with fewer number of stamens are considered to be more primitive.