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Sarcocornia pacifica (Standl.) A.J. Scott

Pickleweed, Pacific swampweed

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassCaryophyllidaeCacti, many other succulents, carnivorous plants, and leadworts
OrderCaryophyllalesIncludes cacti, carnations, amaranths, ice plants, and many carnivorous plants
FamilyAmaranthaceaeAmaranth family
SpeciespacificaFrom the Latin pacificus, meaning “peace-making, peacable,” and from a botanic standpoint probably meaning “of the Pacific Ocean or the general Pacific area”

About plant names...

Pickleweed is native to the Pacific coast of North America.

Identification: These woody shrubs may be upright or close to the ground, and are 4-20″ (10-50 cm) high. Branching is highly variable. Younger branches are composed of pickle-like green segments ⅛-¾″ (5-20 mm) × 1/16-⅛″ (2-4 mm). This, and the location in coastal salt marshes and tidal flats, are the key identifying features. Branches have reddish tips.

Sarcocornia pacifica (pickleweed, Pacific swampweed)

Pickleweed flowers, by jkirkhart35@flickr

Online References:

The Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation

The Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia

The San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Project

Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants


Salicornia pacifica Standl.


Sarcocornia pacifica description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Sarcocornia pacifica (pickleweed, Pacific swampweed)

2/24/2010 · Batiquitos Lagoon, Carlsbad, Cali­fornia · ≈ 9 × 6″ (22 × 15 cm)


About this map...