Genus of the Week
Week of June 15-21
This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources on a particular genus.
Visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes,
a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family.
This week's genus:
Salicornia - The Glassworts
Family: Chenopodiaceae - The Goosefoot Family
Number of Species: at least 5
The genus Salicornia is halophytic, as are all members of the family Chenopodiaceae.
These succulent plants are typically found in salt marshes and other salty habitats. Several
species are considered edible and make a salty addition to salads. The common name for plants
in this genus, Glasswort, comes from the fact that certain species were used in the process of
making glass, due to the large amount of alkali (potash) derived from the plant tissues.
Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Salicornia species:
- Click here to learn about Project
Salicornia, a joint effort of the U.S. and Mexico to cultivate Salicornia and use it
to make particle board and cattle feed.
- The Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory web site has an image
- The Northern Prairie Science Center has a very detailed web page about
S. rubra (Red Saltwort).
- The Southern California Natural History web site from Loyola Marymount University has
information and photos for
- Visit the Vascular Plant Image Gallery at Texas A&M University for a
glimpse of a Gulf Coast species of Salicornia.
- Read about the use of Salicornia and other alkaline plant ashes as a
soap to clean various fabrics at the O.O.A.S.I.S., Inc. web site. Also includes a recipe for
- Read about
eating Salicornia in the Epicurious Dictionary, direct from The Food Lover's
- Forey, Pamela. Wild Flowers of North America. New York, Gallery Books: 1991.
- Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
- Neiring, William A. and Nancy C. Olmstead., eds. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. Alfred A. Knopf, New York: 1979.
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