Salicornia depressa Standl.

common glasswort

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Common glasswort is found on the east and west coasts of North America. In New England it occurs in salt marshes, usually where the vegetation is sparse. The stems are edible raw, or boiled as a potherb.

Habitat

Brackish or salt marshes and flats, coastal beaches (sea beaches), intertidal, subtidal or open ocean

Characteristics

Habitat
  • aquatic
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
Flower petal color
NA
Leaf type
the leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade is entire (has no teeth or lobes)
Flower symmetry
  • NA
  • there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
Number of sepals, petals or tepals
there are three petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
Fusion of sepals and petals
the petals or the sepals are fused into a cup or tube
Stamen number
1 or 2
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is dry but does not split open when ripe
Show All Characteristics
  • Clonal plantlets
    Bulbils
    the plant does not appear to have bulbils
    Bulblets replace flowers
    there are no bulblets where the flowers are located
  • Flowers
    Anther attachment
    the anther is attached near its midpoint to the filament
    Anther color
    the anthers show no hint of a pink, reddish or purplish tint
    Anther length
    0.3–0.5 mm
    Anther opening
    the anthers have narrow slits or furrows that run lengthwise along the anthers
    Anther spurs
    the anthers do not have spurs on them
    Calyx symmetry
    • NA
    • there are two or more ways to evenly divide the calyx (the calyx is radially symmetrical)
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused to one another
    Cilia on petals
    NA
    Cleistogamous flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on the plan
    Corolla morphology
    NA
    Corolla palate
    NA
    Corona lobe length
    0 mm
    Epicalyx
    the flower does not have an epicalyx
    Epicalyx number of parts
    0
    Filament length
    0.3–0.8 mm
    Filament surface
    the filament is smooth, with no hairs or scales
    Flower description
    the flower has a superior ovary, and lacks a hypanthium
    Flower diameter
    1.4–2.7 mm
    Flower length
    1.7–3.5 mm
    Flower number
    3
    Flower petal color
    NA
    Flower reproductive parts
    • the flower has both pollen- and seed-producing parts
    • the flower has either only pollen- or only seed-producing parts
    Flower symmetry
    • NA
    • there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Flowers sunken into stem
    yes
    Fringed petal edges
    NA
    Fusion of sepals and petals
    the petals or the sepals are fused into a cup or tube
    Hairs on inflorescence
    the axis of the inflorescence has no hairs on it
    Horns in hoods (Asclepias)
    NA
    Hypanthium
    the flower does not have a hypanthium
    Hypanthium length
    0 mm
    Inflorescence length
    20–80 mm
    Inflorescence one-sided
    the flowers are arrayed in a spiral around the inflorescence axis or branches, or occur singly, or in several ranks
    Inflorescence width
    2.9–5 mm
    Inner tepals (Rumex)
    NA
    Interior flower disk
    the flower does not have an interior disc
    Marks on petals
    NA
    Nectar spur
    the flower has no nectar spurs
    Number of branches in umbel
    0
    Number of carpels
    2–3
    Number of pistils
    1
    Number of sepals, petals or tepals
    there are three petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
    Number of styles
    2
    Ovary position
    the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Perianth shape
    the perianth is another shape
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes only one cycle of petals or sepals
    Petal and sepal colors
    NA
    Petal appearance
    NA
    Petal base
    NA
    Petal folds or pleats
    NA
    Petal glandular dots or scales
    NA
    Petal hairs (Viola)
    NA
    Petal hairs on inner/upper surface
    NA
    Petal length
    0 mm
    Petal length relative to sepals
    NA
    Petal nectaries
    NA
    Petal number
    0
    Petal shape
    NA
    Petal tip shape
    NA
    Petal tips (Cuscuta)
    NA
    Petal width
    0 mm
    Raceme attachment (Veronica)
    NA
    Reproductive system
    all the flowers have both carpels and stamens (synoecious)
    Scales inside corolla
    NA
    Sepal and petal color
    NA
    Sepal appearance
    the sepals are green or brown, and leaf-like in texture
    Sepal appendages
    the sepals do not have appendages on them
    Sepal appendages (Oenothera)
    NA
    Sepal color
    green to brown
    Sepal length
    0.5–0.7 mm
    Sepal number
    3
    Sepal texture
    the sepals are fleshy or spongy
    Sepal tip shape
    the sepal tip is lobed or fringed
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are fused to each other (not other flower parts), at least near their bases
    Stamen attachment
    • the stamens are not attached to the petals or tepals
    • the stamens are not attached to the petals or tepals
    Stamen length
    0.6–1.3 mm
    Stamen number
    1 or 2
    Stamen position relative to petals
    NA
    Stamen relative length
    anything
    Stamens fused
    the stamens are attached to one another at or near their bases
    Staminodes
    there are no staminodes on the flower
    Style length
    0.1 mm
    Style petal-like
    the styles are not petal-like
    Umbel flower reproductive parts
    NA
    Upper lip of bilabiate corolla
    NA
  • Fruits or seeds
    Achene relative orientation
    the achenes are perpendicular to the plane of the perianth (vertical)
    Achene shape
    the achenes are oval in outline
    Achene surface (Polygonum)
    NA
    Achene type
    • the fruit is a utricle (a type of achene in which the pericarp is loosely attached and often readily removed)
    • the fruit is an achene (dry, indehiscent, and usually one-seeded)
    Berry color
    NA
    Capsule color (Viola)
    NA
    Capsule ribs
    NA
    Capsule splitting
    NA
    Fruit (pyxis) dehiscence
    NA
    Fruit beak length
    0 mm
    Fruit features (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Fruit length relative to sepals
    the fruit is shorter than its associated sepals
    Fruit locules
    one
    Fruit shape
    • the fruit is ellipsoid (widest in the middle and tapering to each end)
    • the fruit is flat or strongly compressed
    • the fruit is obloid (longer than wide and with rounded ends)
    • the fruit is ovoid (egg-shaped)
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is dry but does not split open when ripe
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is an achene (dry, usually one-seeded, does not separate or split open at maturity)
    Hair type on fruit
    the hairs on the fruits are simple (not branched), don’t have glands, and are not woolly
    Hairs on fruit
    the fruits have hairs on them
    Legumes (Fabaceae)
    NA
    Mericarp length
    0 mm
    Mericarp segment shape (Desmodium)
    NA
    Other markings on berry
    NA
    Ovary stipe
    the ovary or fruit does not have a stipe
    Placenta arrangement
    the plant has basal placentation, where one or a few ovules develop at the base of a simple or compound ovary
    Rows of seeds in fruit (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Schizocarpic fruit compression
    NA
    Schizocarpic fruit segments
    0
    Seed length
    1–1.5 mm
    Seed number
    1
    Seed relative length
    the seed is longer than it is wide
    Seed surface
    the seed has hairs on it
    Septum in fruit (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Wings on fruit
    the fruit does not have wings on it
    prickles on fruits
    the fruits do not have thorn-like defensive structures
  • Glands or sap
    Glands on leaf blade
    • NA
    • the leaf blades do not have glandular dots or scales
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
    Sap color
    the sap is clear
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant is an herb (it has self-supporting stems)
    Horizontal rooting stem
    the plant does not have stolons
    Lifespan
    the plant lives only a single year or less
    Parasitism
    the plant is not parasitic
    Plant color
    the leaves or young stems of the plant are green
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
    Underground organs
    there is a thickened taproot on the plant
  • Leaves
    Bracteole edges
    NA
    Bracteole length
    0 mm
    Bracteole number (Apiaceae)
    0
    Bracteole shape
    NA
    Bracteoles
    there are no bracteoles on the plant
    Bracts in plantain (Plantago)
    NA
    Final leaf segment length (compound lvs only)
    0 mm
    Final leaf segment length to width ratio (compound lvs only)
    0
    Final leaf segment width (compound lvs only)
    0 mm
    Floral bract texture
    the floral bracts have a hard and bony or firm and leathery texture
    Floral bracts
    the flower has one or more bracts associated with it
    Hairs on leaf stalk
    NA
    Hairs on underside of leaf
    the underside of the leaf is not hairy, or it has very few hairs
    Hairs on upper side of leaf
    the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or it has very few hairs
    Hooked hairs on underside of leaf
    no
    Inflated hairs on leaf
    the leaf blade does not have inflated hairs on it
    Leaf arrangement
    opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
    Leaf blade base
    the leaf has no stalk and at the base it goes all the way around the stem, so that it appears that the stem pierces the leaf
    Leaf blade base shape
    • NA
    • the base of the leaf blade is truncate (ends abruptly in a more or less straight line as though cut off)
    Leaf blade bloom
    the underside of the leaf has no noticeable bloom
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade is entire (has no teeth or lobes)
    Leaf blade hairs
    NA
    Leaf blade primary vein pattern
    the secondary veins branch off at intervals from the primary vein
    Leaf blade surface colors
    • NA
    • the upper side of the leaf blade is relatively uniform in color
    Leaf blade texture
    • the leaf blade has a fleshy or spongy texture
    • the leaf blade is coriaceous (has a firm, leathery texture)
    Leaf duration
    the leaves drop off in winter (or they whither but persist on the plant)
    Leaf form
    the leaves are small and thin and lack leaf stalks
    Leaf hair orientation
    NA
    Leaf sheath length
    0 mm
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have no leaf stalks, but attach directly to the stem
    Leaf stalk attachment to leaf
    NA
    Leaf stalk base
    NA
    Leaf stalk length
    0 mm
    Leaf teeth and lobes
    the edge of the leaf blade is entire (has no teeth or lobes)
    Leaf tip
    the tip of the leaf blade is obtuse (bluntly pointed)
    Leaf type
    the leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaf types
    There is a gradual change in appearance of the leaves from the base (or near the base) of the plant to those from further up on the stem, with leaves progressively changing as one moves higher on the stem (often becoming shorter, or less toothed/lobed, and/or with shorter petioles).
    Leaf variation
    • NA
    • the leaves are nearly similar in size, prominence of teeth, and length of stalks throughout the stem
    Leaflet number
    0
    Leaflet petiolules
    NA
    Leaves per node
    there are two leaves per node along the stem
    Pinnately compound leaf type
    NA
    Specific leaf type
    the leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Stipels
    NA
    Stipule edges
    NA
    Stipule features
    NA
    Stipule fused to leaf stalk
    NA
    Stipule length
    0 mm
    Stipule shape
    NA
    Stipules
    there are no stipules on the plant
    Teeth per side of leaf blade
    0
  • Place
    Habitat
    • aquatic
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    Specific habitat
    • brackish or salt marshes and flats
    • intertidal, subtidal or open ocean
    • sea beaches
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the plant does not have much of a smell
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Branched tendrils
    NA
    Direction of stem hairs
    NA
    Hair between stem nodes
    the stem has no hairs between the nodes
    Hairs between stem nodes
    the stem has no hairs between the nodes
    Hooked hairs on stem between nodes
    no
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Length of hairs between stem nodes
    0 mm
    Plant height
    10–70 cm
    Stem hair distribution
    NA
    Stem orientation
    the stems are upright or angled outwards
    Stem roughness between nodes
    the stem does not feel rough
    Stem succulence
    the stems are succulent
    Tendril origin
    NA
    Tendrils
    the plant does not have tendrils
    Wings on stem
    the stem does not have wings on it

Wetland Status

Occurs only in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: OBL)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

None

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Salicornia bigelovii:
leaves acute to acuminate at the apex and inflorescence 4.5-6.2 mm thick, noticeably wider than the vegetative portion of stem (vs. S. depressa, with leaves rounded to acute at the apex 2.9-5 mm thick, about the same thickness as the vegetative portion of the stem).

Family

Amaranthaceae

Genus

Salicornia

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

3.  Salicornia depressa Standl. N

common glasswort. CT, MA, ME, NH, RI. Saline marshes, usually in areas of sparse and/or low vegetation. This species is usually referred as Salicornia europaea L., a species restricted to the Old World. The name S. virginica L. may actually be the earliest name for this plant, but the specimens are vegetative and cannot be determined with confidence (Ball 2003a).