Herbs & Plants

Glaux maritima

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Botanical Name : Glaux maritima
Family: Primulaceae
Subfamily: Myrsinoideae
Genus: Lysimachia
Species: L. maritima
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonyms: Lysimachia maritima

Common Names: Black Saltwort, Sea milkwort, Sea milkweed
Habitat : Glaux maritima has a circumpolar distribution in the northern hemisphere and is native to Europe, central Asia and North America. The species grows mainly in coastal habitats in Europe but also occurs in mesic interior habitats in Asia and North America, in both wet ground and water. It is known from alkaline meadows in desert regions in Utah, at elevations of up to 2600 m (8500 ft).
Glaux maritima is a perennial plant growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in). Rootstock is creeping, branching. Stem is ascending–erect, unbranched–branched at base, glabrous.

This plant differs from all other genera of the Primulaceae in having apetalous flowers with a pink, petaloid calyx. It is generally pentamerous both in the calyx and the seed capsule.

Flower: Corolla lacking. Corolla-like calyx regular (actinomorphic)–campanulate, light red and dark-spotted, 3–6 mm (0.12–0.24 in.) wide, fused, 5-lobed till halfway, lobe margins white, membranous. Stamens 5. Pistil a fused carpel. Flowers solitary in axils.

Leaves: At most opposite, upper part alternate, stalkless, slightly amplexicaul. Lowest leaves scaly, brown. Upper leaves with blade ovately lanceolate–elliptic, fleshy, glabrous, bluish green, faintly dark-spotted.

Fruit: Spherical, 3 mm (0.12 in.) long capsule.
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, self.The plant is self-fertile.


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Cultivation: Succeeds in most soils. Dislikes shade.

Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed it should be worthwhile trying an outdoor sowing in situ in mid spring. Division in spring. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Edible Uses:
Young shoots – raw or pickled. Roots – cooked. (This report refers to the sub-species G. maritima obtusifolia.) The roots can be harvested at almost any time of the year. The North American Indians would boil them for a long time before eating them. Even so, eating the roots was considered to make one sleepy and eating too many of them could make one nauseous.

Medicinal Uses: …..Sedative.
Some native North American Indians ate the boiled roots to induce sleep.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.