T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Sarcocornia quinqueflora (Glasswort)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(Unranked):        Angiosperms
(Unranked):        Eudicots
(Unranked):        Core eudicots
Order:       Caryophyllales
Family:      Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Salicornioideae
Genus:      Sarcocornia
Species:     S. quinqueflora
Binomial name: Sarcocornia quinqueflora
Synonym: Salicornia quinqueflora
Common name: Glasswort, Beaded Glasswort, Beaded Samphire, Bead weed.

Sarcocornia quinqueflora is a common species of perennial, succulent, halophytic, coastal plant. It occurs in coastal areas of Australia and New Zealand. In New Zealand, it's found mostly in marsh estuarine areas and on coastal rock platforms. It is found throughout the North Island. In the South Island, it is widespread on the East and the Northcoast but isn't found down the west coast.
It can form large colonies of greyish succulent stems up to 10-30cm long. The stems are completely covered in pairs of translucent leaves which are fused together forming a collar with two-minute lobes. They can be green or tinged with red. The basal parts of the plant are woody and prostate.
Throughout summer and autumn, small flowers are produced on the upper parts of the branchlets. The flowers are inconspicuous and are contained in false whorl-like rings within 1-5 cm long and 3-5 mm wide succulent spikes at the ends of branches. Flowers are in single rows of 10-18 per false whorl and often only noticeable when their yellow anthers or white stigmas protrude.

The erect soft upper parts have an unusual salty flavour and are used in salads.

This photo shows how this plant lives in contact with seawater. Notice the three mangrove seeds germinating and the bubble seaweed. 


Plants below were photographed in Able Tasman Bay, Nelson, late January...

The tiny flowers yellow anthers are visible.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0