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Sesuvium maritimum (Walt.) Britt.

annual sea-purslane

New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

Where native and non-native distributions co-occur in a county, only the native distribution is shown.

North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Annual sea-purslane has a continuous distribution exclusively along the coast of North America from Rhode Island to Mexico, and disjunct populations inland in Kansas and Oklahoma. It is rare in New England, and appears to be in decline in much of its range.

Habitat

Brackish or salt marshes and flats, coastal beaches (sea beaches), dunes

Characteristics

Habitat
wetlands
New England state
Rhode Island
Flower petal color
pink to red
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
there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
Fusion of petals
the petals are fused into a corolla tube
Stamen number
5
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
Fruit length
4–5 mm
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 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
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the calyx (the calyx is radially symmetrical)
    Cleistogamous flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on the plan
    Corolla morphology
    NA
    Corolla palate
    NA
    Epicalyx
    the flower does not have an epicalyx
    Epicalyx number of parts
    0
    Flower description
    the flower has a superior ovary and a hypanthium
    Flower petal color
    pink to red
    Flower symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Flowers sunken into stem
    no
    Form of style
    the flower has two or more completely separate styles
    Fused stamen clusters
    NA
    Fusion of petals
    the petals are fused into a corolla tube
    Horns in hoods (Asclepias)
    NA
    Hypanthium
    the flower has a hypanthium
    Inflorescence one-sided
    the flowers are arrayed in a spiral around the inflorescence axis or branches, or occur singly, or in several ranks
    Inner tepals (Rumex)
    NA
    Nectar spur
    the flower has no nectar spurs
    Number of pistils
    1
    Ovary position
    the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes only one cycle of petals or sepals
    Petal hairs (Viola)
    NA
    Petal number
    0
    Petal tip shape
    • NA
    • the petal tip is acute (sharply pointed)
    Petal tips (Cuscuta)
    NA
    Reproductive system
    all the flowers have both carpels and stamens (synoecious)
    Sepal appendages (Oenothera)
    NA
    Stamen attachment
    the stamens are attached at or near the bases of the petals or tepals
    Stamen number
    5
    Upper lip of bilabiate corolla
    NA
  • Fruits or seeds
    Achene relative orientation
    NA
    Achene shape
    NA
    Achene surface (Polygonum)
    NA
    Achene type
    NA
    Berry color
    NA
    Capsule color (Viola)
    NA
    Fruit length
    4–5 mm
    Fruit locules
    • five
    • four
    • three
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a pyxis (when dry it splits around the middle, and the top falls off, exposing the seeds)
    Legumes (Fabaceae)
    NA
    Mericarp length
    0 mm
    Mericarp segment shape (Desmodium)
    NA
    Other markings on berry
    NA
    Schizocarpic fruit compression
    NA
    Schizocarpic fruit segments
    0
    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
    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
    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
  • Leaves
    Bracteole number (Apiaceae)
    0
    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
    Hairs on underside of leaf
    the underside of the leaf is not hairy, or it has very few hairs
    Leaf arrangement
    opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
    Leaf blade base
    the leaf has a distinct leaf stalk (petiole)
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade is entire (has no teeth or lobes)
    Leaf blade length
    10–30 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is oblanceolate (lance-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    • the leaf blade is spatulate (spoon-shaped; narrow near the base, then suddenly widening to a rounded tip)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    the upper side of the leaf blade is relatively uniform in color
    Leaf duration
    the leaves drop off in winter (or they whither but persist on the plant)
    Leaf form
    the leaves are green, with an expanded blade and a leaf-like texture
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf type
    the leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaflet number
    0
    Leaves per node
    there are two leaves per node along the stem
    Specific leaf type
    the leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Stipels
    NA
    Stipule features
    NA
    Stipules
    there are no stipules on the plant
  • Place
    Habitat
    wetlands
    New England state
    Rhode Island
    Specific habitat
    • brackish or salt marshes and flats
    • dunes
    • sea beaches
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the plant does not have much of a smell
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Branched tendrils
    NA
    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
    Plant height
    10–30 cm
    Tendril origin
    NA
    Tendrils
    the plant does not have tendrils

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Rhode Island
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), concern (code: C)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Portulacca oleracea

Family

Aizoaceae

Genus

Sesuvium

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Sesuvium maritimum (Walt.) Britt. NC

annual sea-purslane. Pharnaceum maritimum Walt.; Sesuvium pentandrum Ell. • RI. Coastal beaches, dunes, brackish marshes.