SEA ROCKET

Cakile maritima

Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8lilac flower8mauve
flower
flower8white flower8pink
inner
inner8green
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ4
stem
stem8round

10th Oct 2018, Ainsdale beach, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Occupies the sand on the higher shore; it doesn't like being splashed by waves which might wash it into the sea. The normal colour for the flowers is a pale mauve and from afar can look a little like Lucerne but that wont grow on a sandy beach anywhere near waves. Sometimes Sea Rocket has flowers of a much paler colour, as in the plant on the mid-left.


10th Oct 2018, Ainsdale beach, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Pale mauve flowers.


10th Oct 2018, Ainsdale beach, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Some plants have much paler coloured flowers than others but still with a hint of lilac.


10th Oct 2018, Ainsdale beach, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
New colonies are not as densely packed as older ones. This is so botanists can see individual plant. The wind blown sand has a habit of half-burying any plants.


16th Aug 2016, Ainsdale beach, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Your Author chose to illustrate this isolated part of the bigger plant so the reader can almost see what's going on.


21st Sept 2013, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Straggly and floppy, with numerous small clumps of lilac coloured flowers.


28th June 2005, Deganwy, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Grows by the sea on sandy shores just above the drift line.


31st May 2007, Sandside, Lancs Coast. Photo: © RWD
Leaves somewhat variable, glaucous green to shiny green, which may yellow in drought.


31st May 2007, Sandside, Lancs Coast. Photo: © RWD
Small hemi-spherical bunches of lilac-coloured four-petalled flowers. Fleshy round, green stems bear seed pods where the flowers once were.


21st Sept 2013, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Sepals like those of Wild Radish but lacking the long hairs. Pods short, round and slightly-bulging cylindrical.


31st May 2007, Sandside, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Petals not as long and narrow as those of Wild Rocket.


21st Sept 2013, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
More often than not petals lilac-coloured.


31st May 2007, Sandside, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Petals usually lilac in colour, but can be mauve, pink or white. Pollen cream coloured. Ants extra.


28th June 2005, Deganwy, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Leaves have broad rounded lobes, usually hyperbolically curved both inwards and outwards a little like a shoe-horn.


21st Sept 2013, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD


21st Sept 2013, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD


2nd July 2009, Southport Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Some leaves are shiny green, with the bluntest of teeth.


16th Aug 2016, Ainsdale beach, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The seed pods below the end flowers are only just developing; they will get fatter.


10th Oct 2018, Ainsdale beach, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
October and this plant has totally gone to pods.


10th Oct 2018, Ainsdale beach, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The pods alternately on opposite sides of long stems, which are also branched.


10th Oct 2018, Ainsdale beach, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The pods on several branches, held aloft so the reader can better see them (and your Author doesn't have to grovel in the sand).


10th Oct 2018, Ainsdale beach, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The seed pods grow fatter with a midriff bulge which is where the seeds usually are. The seeds are in two portions of the pod; the part nearest the stem may contain 1 or no seeds, the central bulge another 1 or 2 seeds, so up to 3 seeds.


16th Aug 2016, Ainsdale beach, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The surface of the stems and pods are smooth apart from some minute marks.


16th Aug 2016, Ainsdale beach, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Seed pods are on short stalks leading up to a sepal tube then the expanding pod, which grows obese in the middle. The minute pot-marks are probably pores which pump excess salt out of the plant, most plants which grow near the sea have them. Some plants may be salt-tolerant, but there is no plant which actually requires salt to live, although a little salt may(?) help the plant defend itself against predators and other organisms.


16th Aug 2016, Ainsdale beach, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
This pod is shaped like a gourde. The sahpe probably depends upon how many seeds are within, which iis 1 to 3. There is a short stub at the neck: the remains of the stigma.


Not to be confused with : Sea Radish [a plant with similar name which also grows near the sea and also has four petals but they are usually yellow]. Nor with Wild Radish or Garden Radish.

Some similarities to : Cuckooflower in that the petals number four and are lilac in colour, but Cuckooflower doesn't grow in the saline conditions present so close to the sea.

Slight resemblance to : Sea Kale which also grows on the beach and has four (white) petals.

All the above belong to the same Cabbage (Brassicaceae) Family.

Sea Rocket is the only plant with lilac or mauve coloured petals which also grows near the sea. It may have lilac, whitish or pinkish petals. It grows mainly just on and above the drift line, on sand rather than on shingle.

The Genus Cakile has but one member in the UK, this one.

Occurs near the sea just above the drift line, usually on sand, but sometimes on shingle. The leaves are (usually) glaucous and semi-succulent, as is the plant.


  Cakile maritima  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Brassicaceae  

Distribution
 family8Cabbage family8Brassicaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Cakile
Cakile
(Sea Rocket)

SEA ROCKET

Cakile maritima

Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]

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