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Genus of the Week

Week of June 15-21

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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

Subclass: Dicotyledoneae
Superorder: Caryophyllidae
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Chenopodiaceae - The Goosefoot Family
Tribe: Cyclolobeae
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:


  1. Forey, Pamela. Wild Flowers of North America. New York, Gallery Books: 1991.
  2. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
  3. 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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