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Salicornia europaea - L.

Common Name Glasswort
Family Chenopodiaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Coastal sands, mudflats and salt marshes, often near the low tide mark[9, 17].
Range Coasts of western Europe, including Britain.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Salicornia europaea Glasswort

Salicornia europaea Glasswort


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Salicornia europaea is a ANNUAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft). It is in flower in August, and the seeds ripen in September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


S. herbacea


 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Oil  Seed  Shoots
Edible Uses: Oil

Young stems - raw or cooked as a potherb, added to soups etc[5, 13, 52, 62, 183]. The plant is at its best for eating in late summer[264]. The stems are very succulent, but have a thin woody core that is easily removed[264, K]. They are best harvested when about 15cm long, the top 10cm being used leaving the bottom 5cm to produce new shoots[264]. They require little cooking, just adding them to a soup for the last few minutes of cooking is sufficient[9]. The plant has a salty flavour[183] and makes a very pleasant raw nibble[K]. The young shoots can be pickled after first boiling them in their own salted water[183]. Seed[105]. Rich in protein[183]. The seed is rather small and fiddly to utilize[K]. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. A high quality, it is similar to safflower oil (Carthamnus tinctoria)[183].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Cleanser  Oil  Potash

The ashes obtained from burning this plant are rich in potash and are used in making soap or glass[4, 6, 13, 46, 61]. The ashes can also be used as a soap.

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a rich organic soil with ample nitrogen and regular watering[264]. This species is little, if at all, cultivated and its exact requirements are not clearly understood[264]. It is not known if the plant will require periodic inundation by salty water to grow well[264]. Glasswort is difficult to grow in cultivation[52, 264], it can succeed in gardens if sown as soon as the seed is ripe in the autumn in a well-drained soil[52]. A very variable plant both in size and the number of branches produced - a number of subspecies are recognised[264]. The best forms for food production are bushy plants up to 40cm tall with an upright habit that keeps the branches out of the mud[264]. The form sometimes classed as a distinct species (as S. ramosissima Woods.) has this habit and habitat and so is the best form for using in cultivation experiments[264]. When seeking seed for cultivation, try to collect from plants with this habit and also choose plants nearer the high tide mark that therefore receive less inundation[264]. The edible leaves are occasionally sold in local markets[46].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Seed - best sown in situ as soon as ripe in a well-drained outdoor bed[52].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Salicornia bigeloviiDwarf Glasswort, Dwarf saltwortAnnual0.3 0-0  LMHNM301
Salicornia quinquefloraChicken Claws 0.0 -  LMHSNM102
Salicornia rubraRed Glasswort, red swampfireAnnual0.2 -  LMHSNM10 
Salicornia virginicaVirginia GlasswortPerennial0.3 -  LMHNM111

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

Jack   Mon Jul 24 2006

Who could offer seeds of Salicornia europaea?

Kadri Kuram   Mon Aug 14 2006

I need the seeds of Salicornia Europeae. You can supply them or know a company who can supply these seeds please contact me at info@erusttarim.com.tr

mark lawlor   Sun Sep 10 2006

Bodmin Plant & herb nursery we also require seeds of salicornia europaea you can supply them or know of a seed company how can please email us on bodminnursery@aol.com mark lawlor

mark lawlor   Sun Sep 10 2006

Bodmin Plant & herb nursery we also require seeds of salicornia europaea you can supply them or know of a seed company how can please email us on bodminnursery@aol.com


Cordial salutes from North Coast in Colombia, South America where poverty and environmental damage are significant. We want obtain Salicornia(several species)seeds for reproduce and implement projects in lands next to sea searching produce edible plants to people and reduce environmental damage. Thanks


We need Salicornia(several species) seeds for poverty reduction, environmental and forage project in Colombia North Coast We will grateful with information ambyagroltd@yahoo.co.uk

Diana Rowland   Mon Jul 23 2007

Did you find a source of seeds? diana Rowland

martin guiot   Thu Jun 26 2008

Soy de Argentina, Villa Gesell, zona costera atlantica y por favor estoy muy interesado en saber sobre el cultivo de salicornia. Espero su respuesta. Atte. MARTIN GUIOT

Laura   Wed Jul 16 2008

I live near the beach in the southwest corner of Washington State, USA, and a friend introduced me to this plant by bringing me a bunch to eat. I have noticed it growing in the area, and could send to interested parties, with instructions on what/how much is needed, how to pack for shipping, and if you would kindly pay the postage. Are there any restrictions on shipping this stuff off, as in, quarantined from going across borders? Please advise.

Clarissa L. Marte   Fri Aug 29 2008

We need Salicornia seeds to use as part of an integrated pond culture system in the tropics. Where can we source seeds of Salicornia?

yossi   Thu Oct 23 2008

Looking for Salicornia seed supplier. Yossi Liberman Yodfat of Galilee Tel: 972-4-9800888 Fax: 972-4-9800887

Dr. Rashid Anwar   Fri Nov 7 2008

Looking for Selicornia seed

Dr.Farooq Mehdi   Sun Jan 18 2009

We need seeds of salicornia europaea, if anyone knows any supplier please let us know.

mine odok   Mon Mar 23 2009

I am looking for Salicornia Seeds as well. If anyone knows a supplier please let me know.

fate   Tue Jul 14 2009

I have got Salicornia Seeds.I selling like 250 gr - 500 gr-1 kilos . you know litte expensive. But I do not consulting just sell. You can contact with me ,if you're really interested e-mail : ozyoldas@yahoo.com - ozyoldas@hotmail.com

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Subject : Salicornia europaea  
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