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Cakile maritima (European Searocket)

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Scientific Name

Cakile maritima Scop.

Common Names

European Searocket

Synonyms

Cakile maritima subsp. maritima, Brassica ovalis, Bunias americana, Bunias ovalis, Cakile bauhinii, Cakile edentula, Cakile hispanica, Cakile pinnatifida, Crucifera cakile, Isatis pinnata, Rapistrum maritimum

Scientific Classification

Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Cakile

Description

Cakile maritima is a glabrous, succulent annual, with a slender or stout taproot. It has a branched stem prostrate or ascending, growing up to 18 inches (45 cm) tall. The lobed leaves are flesh-like and alternate. They are different from top and bottom of the stem. The lower leaves are obovate or oblancelate, while the upper ones are oblong. The small flowers come in shades of white, lilac or purple, with 4 petals up to 1 inch (2.5 cm).

Photo via unkraeuter.info

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

It is widespread in Europe, north Africa and western Asia, especially on coastlines.

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