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Crithmum maritimum (Rock Samphire)


Scientific Name

Crithmum maritimum L.

Common Names

Rock Samphire, Samphire, Sea Fennel


Cachrys maritima, Crithmum canariense

Scientific Classification

Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Crithmum


Crithmum maritimum is an edible, perennial, succulent plant up to 1 foot (30 cm) tall. It is smooth and richly branched with a stalk that is hard and woody at the base. The leaves are 2 to 3 times pinnate with linear to oblong, fleshy lobes. The flowers are white to greenish-yellow, more rarely pinkish, carried in umbels with 10 to 30 rays, and appear in mid-summer.


USDA hardiness zones 7a to 10b: from 0 °F (−17.8 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Growing Rock Samphire in the garden is very easy. Although it is used to salty coastal soil, it will do well in any well-draining soil and has been cultivated in gardens in England for centuries.

Sow seeds indoors a few weeks before the average last frost. Transplant the seedlings outside after all chance of frost has passed.

Rock Samphire can tolerate some shade, but it will perform best in full sun. It is a good idea to dig a large hole and fill the bottom of it with gravel to make drainage easier. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Harvest young leaves and stems throughout spring and summer by handpicking or cutting with scissors, similar to the harvesting of most common herb plants. See more at How to Grow and Care for a Rock Samphire (Crithmum maritimum).


Crithmum maritimum is found on the southern and western coasts of Britain and Ireland, on the Mediterranean and western coasts of Europe, including the Canary Islands, North Africa, and the Black Sea.


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