Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for American Glasswort - Salicornia virginica   L.
Members of Chenopodiaceae:
Members of Salicornia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Family Chenopodiaceae
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AuthorL.
DistributionOuter Coastal Plain, Outer Banks, and barrier islands.

Maritime -- ME and Que. south to GA.
AbundanceGenerally fairly common.
HabitatBrackish and saline marshes, especially salt pannes; sandy salt flats, storm washovers, and margins of impoundments.
See also Habitat Account for General Tidewater Shorelines and Flats
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July-October.
IdentificationAmerican Glasswort is an annual, short-branched, fleshy-textured plant that typically grows 4-12 inches tall. The spikes of tiny flowers, each flower set in a joint or node, occur at ends of slender branches. It is best told from Dwarf Glasswort (S. bigelovii) by its thinner, less fleshy spikes, and with inflorescence scales that are blunt and lack a pointed tip (vs. having sharply pointed tips). It turns red in the late fall. The more common Perennial Glasswort (S. ambigua) has long, horizontal stems that can form mats, and numerous erect and often unbranched stems.
Taxonomic CommentsFor many decades this plant went by the name of S. europaea, but unfortunately the type specimen of S. virginica (what we now call S. ambigua, the perennial species) turns out to be the present annual species.

Other Common Name(s)Pickleweed, from the fleshy texture of shoots, which make a tasty, salty snack. Common Glasswort, Slender Glasswort
State RankS3? [S3]
Global RankG5
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