Perennial Glasswort

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Perennial Glasswort

Salicornia virginica

 

Range/Geographical Distribution: Along the coast from Nova Scotia to Florida and Texas as well as from Alaska to Mexico.  Also found in India, Japan, Korea, Russia, SW Asia, and Europe.

Habitat: Salt marshes and salt flats. 

Description: A bright green succulent plant with braches that look like pickles. 

Size: Can reach one foot in height.

Breeding: Flowers in summer and fall and the flowers are hermaphroditic.

Predators/Ecological Function: Provides cover for small animals.

Conservation Status: Listed as threatened in New Hampshire.

Interesting Facts: Burned glasswort plants are used to make glass and fresh plants have been used externally in the treatment of arthritic pain, rheumatism, aches, pains, and swellings.  Glasswort is currently being tested for use as a biofuel since it is composed of 32% oil. 

On the Coast: Perennial glasswort is common along the high marsh on Georgia’s coast.  Its leaves are edible and have a very salty taste.  It can be found in grocery stores.

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