Sea milkwort

Glaux maritima ssp. obtusifolia

Range: common in coastal BC, less frequent elsewhere; circumpolar, widespread in arctic and temperate NA; Eurasia.

Description: Perennial fleshy herb from a shallow rhizome, stems ascending-erect, several, branched from below, 3-30 cm tall, leafy to the tip.  Leaves 1.5-10 mm long, 5-25 mm wide, jointed at the bases; opposite low on the stem, alternate above. Flowers small, inconspicuous, solitary, axillary, 4-5 mm long, white or pinkish, 5-lobed.

Ecology: Tideflats, coastal marshes and beaches.

Notes:  Another subspecies occurs in alkaline marshes and inland meadows in BC.  It was called ‘milk-wort’ because an infusion could be brewed from the plant and given to nursing mothers in order to increase their milk supply.

Sources:

  • Eflora
  • Pojar, J. and A. MacKinnon.  1994.  Plants of Coastal British Columbia: including Washington, Oregon & Alaska. Lone Pine Publishing. Vancouver. 528 p.

 

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