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Annual Seablite

A similar species to Glasswort, Annual Seablite is another annual of salt marshes and sea-shores. It grows often alongside Glasswort beneath the high tide line all around the Scottish coast.

From a distance it could be mistaken for Glasswort, but it often has red-tinged stems and glaucous leaves, i.e. leaves covered with a bluish-grey waxy powder that can be rubbed off, like grapes. This powder is actually excess salt which is ‘sweated out’ by the plant through tiny glands. The leaves stick out more at angles to the stem, but the leaves are still succulent and bluntish at the tips, and with one flat side on top like cricket bats. Stems grow upright in thin spikes with leaves growing in bunches all the way up. Clumps of shorter leaves can grow between longer ones in tiny bunches clinging to the stem.

In the axils of the leaves clumps of tiny green or purple flowers grow. They have 5 green tepals (having no distinction between sepal and petal). These open partially to reveal 5 stamens with creamy pollened anthers.

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