Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Perennial Glasswort - Salicornia ambigua   Michaux
Members of Salicornia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Family Chenopodiaceae
AuthorMichaux
DistributionOuter Coastal Plain, Outer Banks, and other barrier islands.

Maritime -- NH to FL. Weakley (2018) says it ranges to TX, but FNA does not map it west of FL.
AbundanceFrequently encountered -- generally common, except much less numerous around the upper ends of bays and sounds.
HabitatBrackish and saline marshes, especially in salt pans; sandy salt flats, storm washovers, and margins of impoundments.
See also Habitat Account for General Tidewater Shorelines and Flats
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July-October.
IdentificationPerennial Glasswort is told from our other two glassworts by its perennial habit with tough, surficial, horizontal to ascending stems extending up to 2 feet long. Vertical shoots rise up to 7 inches, branched or not, fleshy textured, and many-jointed. Tiny flowers occur at the joints of terminal spikes. This species can often form mats, unlike the other two glasswort species; they also lack the perennial stem, the shoots are shorter and fleshier, and typically have more branches.
Taxonomic CommentsIn many older references this plant went by the name S. virginica, but the type specimen was found to be an annual species. Another synonym is Sarcocornia pacifica. Confusingly, another species -- the former S. europaea -- is now named as S. virginica!

Other Common Name(s)Pickleweed, from the fleshy texture of shoots, which make a tasty, salty snack. Woody Glasswort, Virginia Glasswort
State RankS4
Global RankG5
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