nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Sea-blite

limits of the tide #3 – Sea-blite (Sueda maritima (L.) Dumort.)

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Another edible coastal plant is Sea-blite (Sueda maritima (L.) Dumort.).  Sea-blite is a low-growing plant, often forming mats on the shore.   Sea-blite can also be found at inland locations, near salt springs.

Sea-blite has thick, linear leaves.  The flowers are small and fleshy, and grow in the axils of the stem.  At this time of year, Sea-blite is still a small, inconspicuous plant.  Later it will grow to between 3 and 5 dm.

The leaves of Sea-blite are very salty, and can be used as a source of salt in soup or stew, or an ingredient in salads.   Used as a pot-herb, they should be cooked for 10 to 12 minutes in two to three changes of boiling water, to reduce the salt content.

Warning:
1. never eat any plant if you are not absolutely certain of the identification;
2. never eat any plant if you have personal sensitivities, including allergies, to certain plants or their derivatives;
3. never eat any plant unless you have checked several sources to verify the edibility of the plant.

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persuasion

               Sea-blite (Sueda maritima (L.) Dumort.)

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fingers of Sea-blite

poke the salt air,

rebuke the salt sea

crave attention –

pick me!  pick me!!

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fingers of Sea-blite

point politely at the pot

propose, diplomatically,

add a little more salt

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©  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

June 29, 2012 at 7:00 am

limits of the tide #1 – edible plants

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Last week, our travels took us to the edge of the sea, where I looked for more edible wild plants.  I found what I was looking for at Oak Bay, near St. Stephen.  At the end of a little-used road, we came out on a gravelly spit of land jutting into the Bay.

mid-tide at Oak Bay… at high tide, most of the foreshore will be covered by salt water… at low tide, the clam-flats will be exposed

There, on the shoreline, were four plants to add to my larder of edible wild.

Three of the species formed a small community near the upper reaches of the shore:  Seaside Plantain, Sea-blite and Samphire.  All three are in the photo below… can you find them?

The Seaside Plantain (also known as Goosetongue) is the dense clump of long, thick, linear leaves in the photo above…

The Sea-blite is just starting to grow.  Later in the season it will be as large or larger than the Seaside Plantain.  In the enlargement below, Sea-blite is the small green plant to the right of the clump of Seaside Plantain…

The Samphire is also very small this time of year.  Later it will be as large as the Sea-blite or Seaside Plantain.  In the photo enlargement below, it is at the base of the clump of Seaside Plantain, at exactly 6 o’clock.

The fourth edible plant at Oak Bay is Orach.  It grows on the upper shore, above the Seaside Plantain and beyond the limit of the tide.  These plants often grow together along the coast, on salt marshes, tidal flats, dykelands and beaches.

Since the plants were not plentiful and not yet ready to pick, I took only one plant of each, for my drawings.  I also took a bite of each type of leaf.  Although there are subtle differences, all four were crisp and salty in flavour, a delightful nibble of the salty sea.

These are just a few of the edible plants living in coastal areas of New Brunswick.    Over the next posts, I will explore these four species and a few others.

©  Jane Tims  2012

Warning:
1. never eat any plant if you are not absolutely certain of the identification;
2. never eat any plant if you have personal sensitivities, including allergies, to certain plants or their derivatives;
3. never eat any plant unless you have checked several sources to verify the edibility of the plant.
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