Pickle Plant Groundcover - Knowledgebase Question

San Diego, CA
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Question by cdlev
October 30, 2000
Many thanks for the help you have given me with past queries.
I have been told that the pickle plant groundcover requires little water and would be just the right companion for my cacti plants. I can find no reference or picture of said plant and I do not know the botanical name. I would appreciate any information. Thank you, Chaike

Answer from NGA
October 30, 2000
Samphire (Crithmum Maritimum) is commonly called the pickle plant because of its narrow, succulent leaves. The common name is dedicated to the fisherman saint, (St. Pierre) because it likes to grow on sea-cliffs.

Samphire is a succulent, smooth, much-branched herb, woody at the base, growing freely on rocks on the sea-shore moistened by the salt spray.

It is well distinguished by its long, fleshy, bright-green, shining leaflets (full of aromatic juice) and umbels of tiny, yellowish-green blossoms. The whole plant is aromatic and has a powerful scent.

I've read that the young leaves, if gathered in spring, sprinkled with salt (after freeing them from stalks and flowers), boiled and covered with vinegar and spice, make one of the best pickles, on account of their aromatic taste.

You'll find a picture of the plant on the following website:

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