Herb: Glasswort

Latin name: Salicornia europaea

Synonyms: Salicornia herbacea

Family: Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)

Edible parts of Glasswort:

Young stems - raw or cooked as a potherb, added to soups etc. The plant is at its best for eating in late summer. The stems are very succulent, but have a thin woody core that is easily removed. They are best harvested when about 15cm long, the top 10cm being used leaving the bottom 5cm to produce new shoots. They require little cooking, just adding them to a soup for the last few minutes of cooking is sufficient. The plant has a salty flavour and makes a very pleasant raw nibble. The young shoots can be pickled after first boiling them in their own salted water. Seed. Rich in protein. The seed is rather small and fiddly to utilize. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. A high quality, it is similar to safflower oil (Carthamnus tinctoria).

Description of the plant:


30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)


Habitat of the herb:

Coastal sands, mudflats and salt marshes, often near the low tide mark.

Other uses of Glasswort:

The ashes obtained from burning this plant are rich in potash and are used in making soap or glass. The ashes can also be used as a soap.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown in situ as soon as ripe in a well-drained outdoor bed.

Cultivation of Glasswort:

Coastal sands, mudflats and salt marshes, often near the low tide mark.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Salicornia europaea:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.