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 to

Range and Distribution

Western Europe’s coasts including England


Salt Marshes, estuaries, coastal sand and mud flats

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 in to the stems joints, 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)


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