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Cakile edentula (American Searocket)

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Scientific Name

Cakile edentula (Bigelow) Hook.

Common Names

American Searocket

Synonyms

Cakile edentula var. edentula, Bunias edentula, Cakile aegyptia var. edentula, Cakile americana, Cakile californica, Cakile lanceolata var. edentula, Cakile lanceolata subsp. edentula, Cakile maritima var. americana

Scientific Classification

Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Cakile

Description

Cakile edentula is a succulent plant up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall, with thick, edible leaves. It grows as a short shrub on beaches. The leaves alternately grow on the stem and have various teeth and lobe patterns. The flowers are separate, radially symmetrical, and contain four petals. They can be pink to red, blue to purple, or white. Fruit are small and green, up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) in diameter.

Photo via inaturalist.org

Hardiness

It is grown as an annual plant, so it has no USDA hardiness zone.

How to Grow and Care

Searocket grows and exists in the sandy soil closer to the ocean than the beach grass. Growing Searocket actually prefers sandy conditions. As a succulent, the plant holds water, making growing Searocket even easier.

When growing Searocket, don't include it as part of a vegetable garden. Companions for Searocket cultivation must be of the same family. If the Searockets detect roots of other type plants close to it, an "allelopathic" action occurs. Searocket releases a substance into the root zone that stunts or otherwise deters plants of other types.

Searocket puts a long taproot into the soil and does not like to be moved. Start it from the double jointed seed pods when they appear on the plant and mature, following the small purple blooms. This taproot makes the plant an excellent choice to hold and stabilize sandy soils that may be eroding… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for a Searocket

Origin

Native to North America.

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