Sea Purslane - Halimione portulacoides


Foraging and identification of Sea Purslane

Edible plant - novice Season - Summer Common names Sea Purslane, Shoreline purslane


Scientific name meaning: Halimione is from the Greek Halimos, meaning belonging to the sea. Portulacoides is Latin and means with the form of Portulaca - purslane

Sea Purslane Habitat

Habitat

Found in estuaries, mudflats and salt marshes, and on sand dunes, all around the UK






Sea Purslane plant structure

Overall structure

A low growing and quite straggly plant








Sea Purslane Leaves

Leaves

Grey-green when young with an iridescent shine to them. Lance-shaped and become more elongated with age and towards the tips of the plant. They have a sturdy feel to them and appear in opposing pairs up the stem




Sea Purslane Stems

Stems

Smooth and grey-green, becoming woody with age







Sea Purslane Flowers

Flower

Red yellow then, more yellow and appearing in spikes








Sea Blite

Possible lookalikes

Only likely to be confused when young with Sea Blite, which is 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. ​ 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 None known ​ 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!