The pickleweed is in bloom, but you probably won’t notice.
First, you would have to notice the plant itself. Sarcocornia pacifica is a fleshy, low-growing plant of the salt marshes. It is named for its leafless, segmented succulent stems, which resemble tiny pickles. Or, little green fingers. I think it’s an adorable plant, but it is undeniably unobtrusive. Often people just see it as something to step on while they are getting to the water, the beach or the view…
To see the flowers, you have to look even closer. The blooms themselves are simply tiny white threads emerging from the green wall of the plant; you can barely see them with the naked eye (click on the middle picture to get an idea).
I’ve never nibbled on it, but pickleweed (also called Virginia glasswort) is edible, with a mild salty flavor. Not surprising, since it often grows in a dense mat along the wet edges of marshes. Regularly drenched by the tide, it has the ability to absorb large amounts of saltwater.
One response to “Plant of the day: pickleweed”
Pickleweed taste is intensely salty, not mildly salty.