|Yellow Glasswort (Salicornia fragilis) left, and|
Purple Glasswort (S. ramosissima) right
Of the less frequent species One-flowered Glasswort (S. pusilla) is the easiest to identify as all the other species have flowers in threes; it can be locally frequent on the higher saltmarsh. Last week I found Yellow Glasswort (S. fragilis) along the shore between Loughor Bridge and Loughor Yacht Club (see photo above). It seems likely that I have been overlooking this species as the Flora of Glamorgan states it is 'Abundant in the North Gower Saltmarshes', so one I'll be keeping an eye out for it elsewhere.
The final species, Common Glasswort (S. europaea), is perhaps the most tricky. I have not yet specifically looked for it this year, but in 2010 there was an abundance of apparent Common Glasswort on the sand/mudflats off Penclawdd, However there were no records of this species for the Burry in the county database I inherited from Quentin and the Flora of Glamorgan not only lists just two records, but paints a confusing picture over the taxonomic status of the species, which casts doubt on the county status of this species. Perhaps it's time some material was sent to the Salicornia referee?
Those with an interest in food probably already know that this is an edible species and Neil & Elsbethe Edwards told me they enjoyed 'Samphire', which was bought locally in Mumbles last week, served blanched as a starter. Unfortunately they couldn't tell me what species!