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Useful Temperate Plants

Salicornia bigelovii

Torr.

Amaranthaceae


The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.

+ Synonyms

Common Name: Dwarf Glasswort

No Image.

General Information

Salicornia bigelovii is a Annual up to 0.30 metres tall.
It has edible and miscellaneous uses.

Known Hazards

The seed contains saponins[
252
Title
Scientific American August 1998
Publication
 
Author
-
Publisher
Scientific American Inc. New York
Year
1998
ISBN
0036-8733
Description
An interesting article on the use of halophytes as commercial food crops in desert areas near the sea. Unfortunately lacking in detail of species used and also judges the plant's value as livestock feed rather than direct human food.
]. Although poisonous, saponins are poorly absorbed by the human body and so most pass through without harm. Saponins are quite bitter and can be found in many common foods such as some beans. They can be removed by carefully leaching the seed or flour in running water. Thorough cooking, and perhaps changing the cooking water once, will also normally remove most of them. However, it is not advisable to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Botanical References

43
Title
Gray's Manual of Botany.Eighth Edition
Publication
 
Author
Fernald. M. L.
Publisher
American Book Co.; New York
Year
1950
ISBN
0442222505
Description
A bit dated but a good and concise flora of the eastern part of N. America.
,
235
Title
An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada
Publication
 
Author
Britton. N. L. Brown. A.
Publisher
Dover Publications. New York.
Year
1970
ISBN
0-486-22642-5
Description
Reprint of a 1913 Flora, but still a very useful book.
,
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.

Range

Eastern N. America - Nova Scotia to Florida and Texas.

Habitat

Salt marshes by the coast[
43
Title
Gray's Manual of Botany.Eighth Edition
Publication
 
Author
Fernald. M. L.
Publisher
American Book Co.; New York
Year
1950
ISBN
0442222505
Description
A bit dated but a good and concise flora of the eastern part of N. America.
,
235
Title
An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada
Publication
 
Author
Britton. N. L. Brown. A.
Publisher
Dover Publications. New York.
Year
1970
ISBN
0-486-22642-5
Description
Reprint of a 1913 Flora, but still a very useful book.
,
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
], often colonising new areas of mud flats through its prolific seed production[
252
Title
Scientific American August 1998
Publication
 
Author
-
Publisher
Scientific American Inc. New York
Year
1998
ISBN
0036-8733
Description
An interesting article on the use of halophytes as commercial food crops in desert areas near the sea. Unfortunately lacking in detail of species used and also judges the plant's value as livestock feed rather than direct human food.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
HabitAnnual
Height0.30 m
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The plants native habitat will give some idea of its cultivation needs.
Recent research has shown this plant to have excellent potential as a commercial crop in arid and desert regions near the sea. It needs irrigation, which can sustainably be provided by using sea water.

Edible Uses

Young leaves and stems - cooked or pickled[
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
,
172
Title
Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest.
Publication
 
Author
Schofield. J. J.
Publisher
Alaska Northwest Books; Alaska
Year
2003
ISBN
0882403699
Description
A nice guide to some useful plants in that area.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
].
The raw seed is inedible due to the presence of saponins, though these remain in the seed-meal when the oil is extracted[
252
Title
Scientific American August 1998
Publication
 
Author
-
Publisher
Scientific American Inc. New York
Year
1998
ISBN
0036-8733
Description
An interesting article on the use of halophytes as commercial food crops in desert areas near the sea. Unfortunately lacking in detail of species used and also judges the plant's value as livestock feed rather than direct human food.
].
The seed contains about 30% of an edible oil and 35% protein[
252
Title
Scientific American August 1998
Publication
 
Author
-
Publisher
Scientific American Inc. New York
Year
1998
ISBN
0036-8733
Description
An interesting article on the use of halophytes as commercial food crops in desert areas near the sea. Unfortunately lacking in detail of species used and also judges the plant's value as livestock feed rather than direct human food.
]. The oil is highly polyunsaturated and similar to safflower oil (Carthamnus tinctorius) in fatty-acid composition[
252
Title
Scientific American August 1998
Publication
 
Author
-
Publisher
Scientific American Inc. New York
Year
1998
ISBN
0036-8733
Description
An interesting article on the use of halophytes as commercial food crops in desert areas near the sea. Unfortunately lacking in detail of species used and also judges the plant's value as livestock feed rather than direct human food.
]. It has a pleasant nut-like flavour and a texture similar to olive oil[
252
Title
Scientific American August 1998
Publication
 
Author
-
Publisher
Scientific American Inc. New York
Year
1998
ISBN
0036-8733
Description
An interesting article on the use of halophytes as commercial food crops in desert areas near the sea. Unfortunately lacking in detail of species used and also judges the plant's value as livestock feed rather than direct human food.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The seed contains about 30% oil[
252
Title
Scientific American August 1998
Publication
 
Author
-
Publisher
Scientific American Inc. New York
Year
1998
ISBN
0036-8733
Description
An interesting article on the use of halophytes as commercial food crops in desert areas near the sea. Unfortunately lacking in detail of species used and also judges the plant's value as livestock feed rather than direct human food.
].

Propagation

Seed - we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in situ as soon as it is ripe if this is possible, otherwise sow in spring.

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