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Purple Glasswort - Salicornia ramosissima

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Purple Glasswort Purple Glasswort - Salicornia ramosissima dylan North Somerset 3 Oct 2022, 7:24 p.m. 2 Oct 2022, 3:20 p.m.

Species Description

Scattered and local along coasts throughout the UK. Habitat includes: Middle and upper zones of saltmarshes, closed Puccinellia maritima swards, salt-pans, creeks, drift-lines, firm sand and muddy shingle, behind sea-walls, brackish grazing marsh etc. Growing habit: Annual. Height: Up to 40 cm. Flowers August to September.

Stace 4:

Salicornia ramosissima (Hook. f.) J. Woods ex W.A. Clarke & E.S. Marshall - Purple Glasswort.

Erect to procumbent, simple to much-branched, to 40cm, usually becoming dark purple; branches more or less straight; terminal spike (5)10-30(40)mm; lower fertile segments 1.9-3.5mm, 2-4mm wide at narrowest point; 2n=18. Native; mostly middle and upper parts of saltmarshes; round coasts of British Isles, rare in Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands. Particularly variable in habit and colour; recent work suggests that this sp. might not be distinct from S. europaea.


  • Anthers 0.2-0.5(0.6)mm; stamens 1(-2); central flower distinctly larger (about 2x) than 2 laterals; fertile segments with distinctly convex sides; seeds 1-1.7mm (S. europaea agg.)
  • Apical edge of fertile segments with scarious border 0.1-0.2mm wide; plants deep shiny-green becoming reddish purple

Useful Links:

Online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora


Kew (placed as a synonym of S. europaea)