Plant of the day: pickleweed

The pickleweed is in bloom, but you probably won’t notice.

First, you would have to notice the plant itself. Sarcocornia pacifica is a fleshy, low-growing plant of the salt marshes. It is named for its leafless, segmented succulent stems, which resemble tiny pickles. Or, little green fingers. I think it’s an adorable plant, but it is undeniably unobtrusive. Often people just see it as something to step on while they are getting to the water, the beach or the view…

To see the flowers, you have to look even closer. The blooms themselves are simply tiny white threads emerging from the green wall of the plant; you can barely see them with the naked eye (click on the middle picture to get an idea).

I’ve never nibbled on it, but pickleweed (also called Virginia glasswort) is edible, with a mild salty flavor. Not surprising, since it often grows in a dense mat along the wet edges of marshes. Regularly drenched by the tide,  it has the ability to absorb large amounts of saltwater.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Edible, Native, Plant of the day

One response to “Plant of the day: pickleweed

  1. Roy

    Pickleweed taste is intensely salty, not mildly salty.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s