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Return to Adaptations to Life in the Estuary

Pickleweed (Salicornia sp.) is an edible halophylic (salt-loving) plant that tolerates the unique and constantly changing environment of the salt-marsh estuary. Its Latin name Salicornia means "salt horns," and describes the shape of the top sections of the plant that are filled with salt. One reason the plant is commonly called “pickleweed” is because when it is young, it is greenish-gray and looks like little pickles. In some communities, its tender green tips are harvested and used to garnish salads, cooked like green beans or pickled. As the plant ages, it takes on a beautiful bright red color.

Hudson river estuary

 

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