28 September 2016


27 September 2016


River Adur

18 September 2016

Sea Blite, Glasswort
Orache (left) (unidentified)

Adur Orache
Sea Blite

Glasswort showing the three flowers


Salicornia dolichostachya   BUSHY GLASSWORT
Salicornia europaea   GLASSWORT
Salicornia pusilla   FRAGILE GLASSWORT

in Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea (List)

Photograph by Ray Hamblett from an idea by Andy Horton

Glasswort, Salicornia, grows on the margins of Widewater Lagoon where patches turn red in autumn. There are several species but this plant is so variable in appearance that it will need experts to distinguish them to species level.

Glasswort showing the varying appearances of the plant (September 2001)
The plant on the far right is the young shoots of Sea Blite, Suaeda maritima.
Click on the image for a large view.

Glasswort (Search Messages on UK Botany)

Message: 14
   Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 19:11:25 -0000
   From: "Ron Tavender" <>
Subject: Re: Glasswort, Salicornia


You might care to try the "Plant Crib" pub. by BSBI 1988, ISBN 0 901158 17
8; this contains a good key to a very difficult genus, based on Francis
Rose's key of 1984, and updated by J.R. Ackroyd.


Plant Crib information on Glasswort 1998  (Adur Biodiversity Network members only)

Salicornia Plant Crib


Message: 15
   Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 19:25:43 -0000
   From: "Ron Tavender" <>
Subject: Re: Red Glasswort

Photograph by Ray Hamblett

Andy -

Your "carpets of red" seem to suggest Salicornia ramosissima or S. europaea.
Mainly in middle and upper sections of saltmarshes. S. ramosissima is one of three spp. in the S. europaea group, the other two being S. europaea and S.obscura.
The latter does not redden.
The best of luck!


Message: 16
   Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 19:36:59 +0000
   From: "pete.selby" <>
Subject: Re: Glasswort, Salicornia


I have had some experience of identifying Salicornias and have been
consulting with Francis Rose and also using the excellent key in The Plant Crib, Rich & Jermy.

I have looked at your picture (above) and consider that the red salicornia on the
left is Salicornia ramosissima.  The other one is probably the same species
as it also has a waisted appearance and of a similar size.  Not all of the
plants turn red at the same time.  If it were smaller and more delicate and
only had a single flower rather than a group of three and if it were at the
top edge of the saltmarsh then it would be Salicornia pusilla.  However
please note that there is a prostrate form of S ramosissima which may be
confused with it and also note that S ramosissima and S pusilla hybridize and
in this case some flowers are in groups of three and others are single.
These are generally in the fixed part of the saltmarsh and a completely
different range of plants occupy the bare mud.

Salicornia europaea, which has slenderer branches but forms a larger plant.

Salicornia fragilis and Salicornia dolichostachya which re not waisted and
usually dull.

Salicornia obscura and Slicornia nitens (Not too sure about these two)

and finally Sarcocornia perennis, which has some infertile shoots as well as
flowering ones and usually forms a bushy clump.

None are scheduled although a couple are classed as scarce, because of their
limited distribution.  They can only be accurately determined for the short
period from flowering until the first frost, usually the month of October.
If you need to get determination they travel well through the post if placed
in a slightly inflated sealed plastic bag.  Experiments with freeze drying to
obtain a reference collection have so far not been successful as the plants
dry out and most characteristics are lost.

Please get in touch if I can help in any other ways.

Pete Selby
BSBI VC Recorder S Hampshire

Herbal Information

26 September 2007
Widewater at dusk showing the red Glasswort at the edge of the lagoon. Because the lagoon is in flood there is much less of this to be seen than in previous years. 

River Adur Estuary  (October 2004)

Sea Blite
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Adur Estuary