Salicornia europaea L.
Glasswort, Common Glasswort, Marsh Samphire, Chicken Claws, Sea Asparagus, Sea Pickle
Salicornia europaea var. herbacea, Salicornia herbacea, Salicornia virginica
Salicornia europaea is an annual much-branched succulent with fleshy branches with tiny scale-like leaves that surround the branches and extend from one branch joint to the next. It grows up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall. The branches are erect, or the lower ones prostrate. Flowers are tiny, have both male and female organs, and appear in late summer.
It is grown as an annual plant, so it has no USDA hardiness zone.
How to Grow and Care
Several subspecies are recognized. The best forms for food production are bushy plants up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall with an upright habit that keeps the branches out of the mud.
Glasswort prefers fertile organic soil with ample nitrogen and regular watering. This species is little if at all, cultivated, and its exact requirements are not clearly understood. It is unknown if the plant will require periodic inundation by salty water to grow well.
This plant can succeed in gardens if sown as soon as the seed is ripe in the fall in well-drained soil. However, it is a very variable plant both in size and the number of branches produced.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Glasswort.
Once described as the poor man's Asparagus, it is now fast becoming a trendy garnish in many gourmet restaurants. That said, this is a fantastic vegetable in its own right or can be made into a wonderful pickled vegetable.
This species is native to the coasts of western Europe, including Britain.
- Back to genus Salicornia
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
Click on a photo to see a larger version.