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Species Notebook:

  • Rock Samphire

    • Rock Samphire: hands off

      Post date: Sunday, 31 July, 2016 - 21:30

      Rock samphire (Crithmum maritimum) is a common plant of the western and southern coasts of Britain around shingle beaches and especially at the foot of cliffs and along land slips. Samphire is quite a common name for coastal plants and rock samphire is a member of the carrot family and is not related to the golden samphire which is a daisy or to marsh samphire (also known as glasswort).

      It is quite a distinctive plant with fleshy, almost wiry stems and leaves and pale green flowers that do, in time, turn a little creamy in colour. It flowers from June to August and is well established here in Dorset.

      Rock samphire is an edible plant with a hot, spicy flavour and it used to be harvested in large quantities and taken to market in London. Whilst some people still collect it today the removal of any plant from the wild is now illegal and they should not do so. It has been grown as a cultivated crop and it is also imported from overseas where protection is less rigid.



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