Salicornia virginica

Photo Courtesy of K. Hubeny

Common Name(s) Pickleweed
Scientific Name Salicornia virginica
Family Amaranthaceae
Location/Vegetative Zone Salt Marsh
Flowering Period Late Summer
Identifying Characteristics Thick green stems with water inside


• Thick, green stems with jade-colored branches
• Perennial herb
• Stems can contain large volumes of water, helps plant maintain a critical water balance
• Is able to grow in very alkaline soils
• Cannot grow in the shade
• Requires moist soil


Medicinal/Edible Uses

  • Stems of the plant can be used as a vegetable and for seasoning
  • Tips are harvested and used in salads, steamed to serve as a vegetable, or pickled
  • Plant can be used in the treatment of arthritic pain, rheumatism, aches, pains and swellings

Cultural Uses

• Ashes of pickle weed were utilized in the production of sap and glass byu the Chumash and the Tongva-Gabrielino Native Americans
• It is currently being tested to be used as a biofuel crop; it contains 32% oil and can be irrigated with salt water, which is much cheaper than freshwater


“Pickleweed”. Aquarium of the Pacific. Web.

“Pickleweed”. San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy. Web.

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