Identify Marsh Samphire

Marsh Samphire (Salicornia europaea)

How to Identify Marsh Samphire


Common Names

Samphire, Sea beans, salt fingers, glasswort

Botanical Name
Salicornia europaea

Could be confused with
Other glasswort plants. Potential to pick Sea Spray whilst picking marsh samphire, not to worry – it’s edible too

Range and Distribution
Western Europe’s coasts including England

Salt Marshes, estuaries, coastal sand, and mudflats

Physical Characteristics
Marsh Samphire is an annual growing from 3-30cm tall.

It’s a succulent and fleshy plant, with opposite scale-like leaves and heavily jointed stems.

The flowers are tiny and sunken into the joints of the stems, they’re actually quite difficult to see as are the small succulent fruits containing one single seed.

Edible Use
Stem: Salads, steamed, boiled, fried, raw, stews, pickled, candied, frozen, caramelized, pesto.

Marsh Samphire holds a vast abundance of micro and macro minerals.

Tips and Observations
The ash gathered from burning this plant was historically used in the production of soap and glass (it is a strong alkali known as potash