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Mertensia maritima - (L.)S.F.Gray.

Common Name Oyster Plant
Family Boraginaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Shingle by the sea[17]. Uncommon and declining[200].
Range Throughout the temperate regions of both hemispheres, including Britain.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Mertensia maritima Oyster Plant


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:580_Mertensia_maritima.jpg
Mertensia maritima Oyster Plant
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Slaunger

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Mertensia maritima is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from July to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects? Self. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) 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

Synonyms

Pulmonaria maritima.

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Leaves  Root
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw or cooked[172, 183]. They are said to taste of oysters[5]. No-one has yet noticed a resemblance to oysters though not many of the tasters have ever eaten oysters! The flavour is fairly bland, the leaf is thick and has a very mucilaginous texture - it is probably this texture that reminds people of oysters[K]. Root[22, 46, 61, 105]. Eaten by the Inuit of Alaska[183, 257]. Flowers - raw[172].

References

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

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Food Forest

References

Cultivation details

Thrives in nutritionally poor sandy or gravelly soils in a sunny position[200]. Requires a very well-drained soil[188]. Dislikes shade[233]. Plants are resentful of root disturbance and should be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible[200]. This species is not very easy to cultivate[1]. Plants are very susceptible to slug damage[188, K] The plant is heat tolerant in zones 7 through 1. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a clumper with limited spread [1-2]. The root pattern is a tap root similar to a carrot going directly down [1-2].

References

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

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Propagation

Seed - sow as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Spring sown seed is also successful[K]. Germination usually takes place within a month. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in April or early September. With care since the plant resents root disturbance.

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
Mertensia bellaBeautiful bluebellsPerennial0.6 0-0  LMHSNMWe10 
Mertensia ciliataMountain Bell, Tall fringed bluebellsPerennial0.8 4-8  LMHSNMWe11 
Mertensia longifloraSmall bluebellsPerennial0.4 3-7  LMHSNM10 
Mertensia oblongifoliaOblongleaf bluebellsPerennial0.3 4-8  LMHSNMWe10 
Mertensia paniculataTall bluebells, Alaska tall bluebells, Northern bluebells, Eastwood's bluebellsPerennial0.8 4-8  LMHSNMWe10 
Saxifraga mertensianaWood saxifragePerennial0.0 0-0  LMHSNMWe10 
Tsuga mertensianaMountain HemlockTree45.0 5-7 MLMHFSNM12 

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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Expert comment

Author

(L.)S.F.Gray.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

DANIEL   Sat Apr 18 2009

Comment fait on germer Mertensia Maritima. Il paraît que c'est très dificille. J'aimerais pouvoir le réaliser.

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