Edible plant - novice Season - Summer Other common names Glasswort, Chicken Toe, Common Glasswort, Pickle Weed
Scientific name meaning: Salicornia is derived from Sal, Latin for salt, and Cornus, Latin for horn. Eurpoaea means of Europe
Found in estuaries, and along mudflats and salt marshes all around the UK
An upright plant with jointed stems that branch into more jointed stems. Its appearance is not dissimilar to the feet of poultry
Very jointed stems. The small, lobe-like leaves appear at each of the joints
Only likely to be confused with other Glassworts and Sea Blite, both of which are also edible
Use as a food Eaten raw or cooked, it is very salty. Good steamed or fried, and added to soups for its saltiness.
It can also be pickled.
Best harvested in summer, it gets rather woody later in the year. If harvesting, leave 5cm of greenery on the plant to allow new shoots to form.
The seeds can also be eaten, but they are rather small and fiddly to harvest Hazards When collecting from shorelines, be aware of any pollution such as sewage outlets. Also, most of the UK coastline is designated SSSI, so ensure you are allowed or have permission to forage
Use in herbal medicine None known. If you known of any, please let us know. If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner Other uses Was used to make glass fusing its ashes with sand. Importance to other species The seeds are eaten by wading birds
Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!