Sea Purslane (Halimione portulacoides )
How to Identify Sea Purslane
Could be confused with
Habitat and look make this plant near impossible to confuse with anything.
Range and Distribution
Temperate regions of Europe including the UK, Asia and Northern Africa
Coastal areas, specifically salt marshes and sandy areas
Sea purslane is a bushy perennial that sprawls along each other and the ground, growing to 75cm in length.
It’s stalks a fairly woody, grey brown, producing succulent 2-4cm long oval shaped leaves, growing opposite on another up the stem. These are light green with a slight grey/silver tinge due to lots of very tiny hairs all over them.
At the end of the stem it produces a cluster of minute yellow flowers which turn in to pale yellow seeds.
Leaves: The leaves provide a succulent crunch of delightful mineral packed saltiness, use in salads, and raw on top of foods
Flowers and Seeds: The flowers and seeds give an even more exciting pop of flavor, use them to adorn and garnish foods or make them in to a pesto.
Tips and Observations
It’s best to collect this plant on your hands and knees with a pair of scissors, ideally look for the growth that hasn’t yet developed tough woody stems as it will be easier to cook with later. Make sure you keep one eye on the tide.