Rock Samphire, Samphire

Crithmum maritimum

Family: Apiaceae (ay-pee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Crithmum (KRITH-mum) (Info)
Species: maritimum (muh-RIT-tim-mum) (Info)




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

Clayton, California

Portland, Oregon

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 1, 2016, Ted_B from Birmingham, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

Upon tasting pickled "samphire" while visiting the UK, I was hooked. It reminded me a bit of the seaweed salads typical of sushi restaurants. What I since discovered on a subsequent visit however, is that much (if not most) of what is sold as "samphire" in vegetable commerce is not Crithmum maritimum (Rock Samphire), but rather the annual herb, Salicornia europaea (Marsh Samphire or Common Glasswort). It is clear now that what I experienced in the UK was indeed the latter plant.

C. maritimum seeds given a 60 day cold stratification germinated 15 days after sewing in a consistently moist medium consisting of sand and peat blend, and kept indoors under grow lights. Seedlings are relatively slow growing, but hardy. Seedlings take transplanting without distress. Seedlings transp... read more


On Apr 9, 2013, RiverNymph from the Mountains, CO (Zone 4a) wrote:

Also known as 'Sea Fennel'.
Quoted from Jekka's Complete Herb Book:
"The leaves can be eaten fresh or cooked. Prior to cooking, remove any leaves that have begun to turn slimy and any hard parts of the stalk. The leaves have an aromatic salty flavor which combines well in salads or cooked in butter. They can also be used to make sauces and aromatic pickles."

Also: "This herb is very high in vitamin C; it also has a digestive and purgative properties. It is under research for treating obesity and is in a number of herbal products. "


On May 2, 2002, Lilith from Durham,
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

A curious member of the Carrot family, native to Northern Europe, with the normal umbrella-shaped heads of flowers, but swollen, succulent aromatic leaves. These leaves can be made into a pickle or sauce, uses that were formerly commonplace but are now rarely tried. Rock Samphire commonly inhabits inaccessible ledges of sea-cliffs and its collection was an exceedingly hazardous and often lethal trade. Eating the plant was believed to aid digestion and have beneficial effects on the kidneys and bladder. Rock Samphire was sometimes grown as a vegetable on well-drained soils, especially in England and France. The succulent leaves, with a thick, translucent coat, are an adaption to drought, for even though the plant may be drenched by spray from a rough sea, the salt in the water tends to dry ... read more