Marsh Samphire is a
annual plant of the UK, typically found growing in saltmarshes, creeks and estuaries, to a mature height of up to 30cm.
Marsh Samphire is a coastal plant unrelated to other samphires such as Rock Samphire and Golden Samphire. The name Samphire is a corruption of the French 'Saint Pierre', patron saint of fishermen, and is a generic name given to several maritime species. Marsh Samphire is commonly found growing in intertidal 'saltmarshes'. Marsh Samphire is sometimes available for sale as a food for use in salads or as a steamed vegetable. In the past, Marsh Samphire was also collected and burnt for ashes to be used in glass production, hence the alternative name 'Common Glasswort'.
Botanic classification and naming: Marsh Samphire is a member of the Amaranth (Amaranthaceae) family. The genus name
'Salicornia' identifies the plant as a Glasswort and its species name 'europaea' means 'European plant'.
Concerns: Note that unsupervised foraging may cause damage to wild plants and misidentification of forage species may be dangerous. Mud and tides can also make foraging on the saltmarshes particularly dangerous. The complete removal of a plant from the wild is illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981).