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Salicornia europaea

Salicornia europaea

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Ordo: Caryophyllales

Familia: Amaranthaceae s.l.
Cladus: Chenopodiaceae s.str.
Subfamilia: Salicornioideae
Tribus: Salicornieae
Genus: Salicornia
Species: Salicornia europaea

Subspecies: S. e. subsp. disarticulata – S. e. subsp. europaea – S. e. subsp. × marshallii

Salicornia europaea L., Sp. Pl. 1: 3. (1753)

Lectotype (designated by Jafri & Rateeb 1978, Fl. Libya 58: 57.): LINN Linnaean Herbarium LINN 10.1.
Epitype (designated by Kadereit et al. 2012, Taxon 61: 1234.): Sweden, Gotland, W shore of Burgsviken Bay, Näsudden Cape, Piirainen & Piirainen 4222 (MJG; only the plant numbered G38-1.)


Heterotypic (ref. Kadereit et al. 2012)
Salicornia appressa Dumort. in Bull. Soc. Roy. Bot. Belgique 7: 333. (1866)
Salicornia brachystachya (G.Mey.) D.Koenig, Mitt. Florist.-Soziol. Arbeitsgem., N.F., 8: 11, 46. (1960)
Salicornia disarticulata Moss in J. Bot. 49: 183. (1911)
Salicornia gracillima (F.Towns.) Moss, J. Bot. 49: 182. (1911)
Salicornia obscura P.W.Ball & Tutin in Watsonia 4: 204. (1959)
Salicornia pusilla (Hook. f.) E.S.Marshall in Hanbury, London Cat. Brit. Pl. [H.C. Watson], ed. 10: 33. (1908)
Salicornia ramosissima (Hook.f.) E.S.Marshall in Hanbury, London Cat. Brit. Pl. [H.C. Watson], ed. 10: 33. (1908)
Salicornia smithiana Moss, J. Bot. 49: 183–184. (1911)
(+ ref. Piirainen 2009):
Salicornia annua Sm., Engl. Bot.: Tab. 415. (1797), nom. illeg.
Salicornia herbacea L., Sp. Pl., ed. 2: 5. (1762), nom. illeg.

Native distribution areas:
Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus I: 3. Reference page.

Additional references

Kadereit, G., Piirainen, M., Lambinon, J. & Vanderpoorten, A. 2012. Cryptic taxa should have names: Reflections on the glasswort genus Salicornia (Amaranthaceae). Taxon 61(6): 1227–1239. pdf Reference page.
Piirainen, M. 2009. Salicornia europaea. – In: Uotila, P. (ed.): Chenopodiaceae. Euro+Med Plantbase - the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity.


Hassler, M. 2018. Salicornia europaea. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2018. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 May 16. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2018. Salicornia europaea. Published online. Accessed: May 16 2018.
The Plant List 2013. Salicornia europaea in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2016 Jul. 13. 2016. Salicornia europaea. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 13 Jul. 2016.

Vernacular names
català: Cirialera herbàcia
čeština: Slanorožec evropský
Cymraeg: Llyrlys cyffredin
dansk: Kveller
Deutsch: Europäischer Queller
Ελληνικά: Αρμυρήθρα
English: Common Glasswort
eesti: Harilik soolarohi
suomi: Punasuolayrtti
Nordfriisk: Rölken
français: Salicorne d'Europe
hrvatski: Jednogodišnja caklenjača
hornjoserbsce: Wšědny selorodźenc
italiano: Salicornia europea
日本語: アッケシソウ
한국어: 퉁퉁마디
norsk bokmål: Salturt
Plattdüütsch: Queller
Nederlands: Kortarige zeekraal
norsk nynorsk: Salturt
polski: Soliród zielny
русский: Солерос европейский
slovenčina: Slanorožec bylinný
svenska: Glasört
Türkçe: Deniz Börülcesi
українська: Солонець трав'янистий
中文: 海蓬子

Salicornia europaea, known as common glasswort[2] or just glasswort, is a halophytic annual dicot flowering plant in the family Amaranthaceae. Glasswort is a succulent herb also known as ‘Pickle weed’ or ‘Marsh samphire’. As a succulent, it has high water content, which accounts for its slightly translucent look and gives it the descriptive name “glasswort.” To some people, it is known as “chicken toe” because of its shape. To others, it is called “saltwort.”[3] It grows in various zones of intertidal salt marshes, on beaches, and among mangroves.[4]


Glasswort plants are relatively small and have jointed, bright green stems. During the fall, these plants turn red or purple. Their leaves are small and scale like, and they produce fleshy fruits that contain a single seed.[5]

Like most members of the subfamily Salicornioideae, Salicornia species use the C3 carbon fixation pathway to take in carbon dioxide from the surrounding atmosphere.[6]

The ashes of glasswort and saltwort plants (barilla) and of kelp were long used as a source of soda ash (mainly sodium carbonate) for glassmaking and soapmaking.[7] The introduction of the Leblanc process for the industrial production of soda ash in the first half of the 19th century superseded the use of plant sources.
Culinary use

Salicornia europaea is edible, either cooked or raw.[5] In the UK, it is one of several plants known as samphire (see also rock samphire); the term samphire is believed to be a corruption of the French name, herbe de Saint-Pierre, which means "St. Peter's herb".[8]

Samphire is usually cooked, either steamed or microwaved, and then coated in butter or olive oil. Due to its high salt content, it must be cooked without any salt added, in plenty of water. After cooking, it resembles seaweed in colour, and the flavour and texture are like young spinach stems, asparagus, or artichoke. Samphire is often used as a suitably maritime accompaniment to fish or seafood.[9]
Pharmacological research

In South Korea, Phyto Corporation has developed a technology of extracting low-sodium salt from Salicornia europaea, a salt-accumulating plant. The company claims the naturally-derived plant salt is effective in treating high blood pressure and fatty liver disease by reducing sodium intake.[10] The company has also developed a desalted Salicornia powder containing antioxidative and antithrombus polyphenols, claimed to be effective in treating obesity and arteriosclerosis, as well as providing a means to help resolve global food shortages.[11]
Environmental uses

Salicornia europaea is a new candidate plant species for using in effective phytoremediation of cadmium-contaminated saline soils[12]
Growing Salicornia

Salicornia prefers a light, sandy soil (or a well-drained soil) and a sunny position. Samphire can be planted out once the danger of frosts is past. Salicornia is best watered with a saline solution of 1 teaspoon of sea salt in a pint of water.[13] Salicornia grow best in 200 mM NaCl.[14]

Harvest shoots from June to August. After that time shoots will become woody. Treat samphire as a slow-growing cut-and-come-again crop and leave a month between each cut.[13]

"Salicornia europaea L.". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 21 October 2015 – via The Plant List.
BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
"Glasswort a tasty treat". 29 August 2017.
"Glasswort-(Salicornia europaea)". 8 October 2020.
"Salicornia europaea", page of the Plants for a Future website. Retrieved July 14, 2007.
Kadereit, G.; Borsch, T.; Weising, K.; Freitag, H. (2003). "Phylogeny of Amaranthaceae and Chenopodiaceae and the evolution of C4 photosynthesis". International Journal of Plant Sciences. 164 (6): 959–86. doi:10.1086/378649. S2CID 83564261.
Govantes-Edwards, David J.; Duckworth, Chloë N.; Córdoba, Ricardo (2016). "Recipes and experimentation? The transmission of glassmaking techniques in Medieval Iberia". Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies. 8 (2): 176–195. doi:10.1080/17546559.2016.1209779. S2CID 163514723.
Davidson, Alan (2002). The Penguin Companion To Food (Penguin), p. 828. ISBN 978-0-14-200163-9. On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, Completely Revised and Updated (Scribner, New York), p. 317. ISBN 978-0-684-80001-1.
"Food ingredients". BBC.
Panth, Nisha; Park, Sin-Hee; Kim, Hyun; Kim, Deuk-Hoi; Oak, Min-Ho (2016). "Protective Effect of Salicornia europaea Extracts on High Salt Intake-Induced Vascular Dysfunction and Hypertension". International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 17 (7): 1176. doi:10.3390/ijms17071176. PMC 4964547. PMID 27455235.
Rahman, Md. Mahbubur; Kim, Myung-Jin; Kim, Jin-Hyoung; Kim, Sok-Ho; Go, Hyeon-Kyu; Kweon, Mee-Hyang; Kim, Do-Hyung (2018). "Desalted Salicornia europaea powder and its active constituent, trans-ferulic acid, exert anti-obesity effects by suppressing adipogenic-related factors". Pharmaceutical Biology. 56 (1): 183–191. doi:10.1080/13880209.2018.1436073. PMC 6130585. PMID 29521146.
Ozawa, T. ; Miura, M. ; Fukuda, M. ; Kakuta, S. (2009). "Cadmium tolerance and accumulation in a halophyte Salicornia europaea as a new candidate for phytoremediation of saline soils". Scientific Report of the Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University. 60: 1–8.
"How To Sow & Grow Samphire".
Komaresofla, Behzad Razzaghi; Alikhani, Hossein Ali; Etesami, Hassan; Khoshkholgh-Sima, Nayer Azam (June 2019). "Improved growth and salinity tolerance of the halophyte Salicornia sp. by co–inoculation with endophytic and rhizosphere bacteria". Applied Soil Ecology. 138: 160–170. doi:10.1016/j.apsoil.2019.02.022. S2CID 92401027.

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