Pickleweed – Salicornia virginica


Pickleweed is a Perennial Dicot.

Common Names

Annual Sea Asparagus, Pickleweed, Glasswort, Saltwort, Samphire




25cm longLeaves undeveloped, scale-like, to 1.5 mm base united into a sheath, margin membranous, apex acute. Inflorescence shortly pedunculate, spicate, 1-5 cm.Flowers axillary, 3 per bract, middle flower larger, located slightly above lateral flowers. Perianth fleshy, obconic.Stamens exserted; anthers oblong. Ovary ovoid; stigmas papillate. Pericarp membranous. Seed cylindric-ovoid, ca. 1.5 mm in diam.; testa subleathery, hooked hispid. Fl. and fr. Jan-Aug.

Geographic Range

Alaska to Mexico, India, Japan, Korea, Russia; SW Asia, Europe, North America


Upper Intertidal


Flower heads terminating all stems. The flowers are hermaphrodite. Flowering late summer-early fall. Best time to collect seeds is around October 31st. Responds well to nitrogen based fertilizer including increased height.


Light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils

Fresh Water Requirements

It requires moist soil


It cannot grow in the shade


The ashes of burnt plants are used in making glass and soapBiodiesel suggested. Has been used externally in the treatment of arthritic pain, rheumatism, aches, pains and swellings.

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