Sunday, August 07, 2005

California marsh plant community

The Atriplex has been seen more in the mudflats and marsh recently. -It is salt tolerant. The Salicornia is in bloom and so is the Frankenia. Frankenia has beautiful pinky purple flowers that the various bees and bee flies come to feed. Salicornia flowers are small yellow/white and emerge from the 'folds and creases' of the globular plant.

Salicornia can be nibbled. I first ate it in a salad in Canada harvested from the Queen Charlotte Islands. I don't recommend eating it where municipalities (like Ventura or Los Angeles or anywhere near a city in the upper watershed) dump their road run-off because, it can take up metals and other anthropogenic chemicals. But, I can tell you it is salty like a pickle.

Here is a spot in the marsh where many plants live together - in one meter square.

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