Herb: Sea Arrow Grass

Latin name: Triglochin maritima

Family: Juncaginaceae (Arrow-grass Family)

Edible parts of Sea Arrow Grass:

The white base of the leaf stem can be eaten raw or cooked. Best harvested in late spring, the white base has a pleasant mild sweet taste, somewhat like cucumber. An unpleasant odour is produced whilst the plant is being cooked. The green parts of the plant should not be eaten since they can contain a toxin. Only the bases of leaf stems should be used, and not the bases of flowering stems. See notes at top of the page. Seed - parched and ground into a powder. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Salt marshes and grassy places near the sea.

Other uses of Sea Arrow Grass:

The ashes of the plant are rich in potassium and can be used in making soap.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. Stand the pots in about 2cm of water. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

Cultivation of Sea Arrow Grass:

Salt marshes and grassy places near the sea.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Triglochin maritima:

The green leaves of plants can contain a toxic cyanogenic glycoside, it is especially present during and just after a drought and is particularly toxic to ruminants. Plants growing in Britain are usually perfectly safe, this is probably due to the climate.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.