Cochlearia officinalis   Common Scurvygrass CC D N

cochlearia officinalis whole cochlearia officinalis close

This crucifer, which is of course not a kind of grass, grows right on the sea shore or in salt marshes flowering in Spring. Some flowers can usually be found throughout the summer. The succulent basal leaves are sometimes present in large numbers and these were picked for their Vitamin C content centuries ago.

The plants here had very few basal leaves but those that were present had the rounded bases typical of C. officinalis. There are two sub-species which Stace recognises and the one in close-up is probably ssp officinalis while the photograph of the whole plant could well be ssp scotica which is quite common this far north.

This plant is common on all coasts except the English south coast where C. anglica is dominant.

LHS: Achmelvic NW Scotland 18th June 2006 LHS: Southport beach salt marsh zone, May 9th 2006

Added on 13th May 2006, updated 4th December 2008, updated 19th March 2010

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