Uniquely identifiable characteristics : A greeny yellowish very fleshy umbellifer growing on rock faces and cliffs by the seaside.
Distinguishing Feature : Smells like shoe or furniture polish when crushed, although some report a citrus type odour.
In times past it was once used for pickling, and like glasswort, the spicy and salty succullent stems can be eaten raw as a snack. Or they can be boiled and eaten with butter like asparagus. The seed pods are used to flavour sauces, or can be pickled as can the green shoots.
No relation to : Marsh Samphire or Long Spiked Glasswort [a plant with similar name] which is a Glasswort (
Long Spiked Glasswort) belonging to the Goosefoot Family.
Rock Samphire is the only member of the Crithmum Genus (at least in the UK).
The coastal shingle plants Sea Kale (Crambe maritima)
Yellow-hormed Poppy (Glaucium flavum) and
Rock Samphire (Crithmum maritimum) are thermophilous, growing well and increasing in numbers with warmer summers.
Rock Samphire contains the poisonous phenylpropanoid Apiole, or Apiol, which is related to Eugenol. It is also found in |
Parsley, the arbortifacient properties of which are partly due to Apiole, which is cytotoxic in higher doses. It has been used medicinally for menstrual problems, and in the Middle Ages to aid abortion. In higher doses it can cause liver and kidney damage.