Rock samphire Facts

Rock samphire Facts
Rock samphire is succulent plant that belongs to the carrot family. It originates from Mediterranean region, but it can be found all over Europe, in the northwestern parts of America and southern parts of Australia today. Rock samphire grows on the cliffs, rocky coasts and in the salty marshes. It thrives in areas with well-drained, rocky or muddy soil, that provide plenty of sun. Rock samphire tolerates increased content of salt in the air and soil. People cultivate rock samphire as a source of food and in ornamental purposes.
Interesting Rock samphire Facts:
Rock samphire grows in the form of small shrub. It has woody base and numerous side branches. Rock samphire can reach 12 inches in height and roughly the same in width.
Rock samphire produces numerous thick and fleshy, bluish-green leaves.
Rock samphire produces yellowish flowers arranged in dense clusters (umbels) on top of the stem. They contain both types of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
Rock samphire blooms from June to August. Flowers emit pleasant, sweet odor which attracts various insects that play important role in the pollination of this plant.
Fruit of rock samphire has spongy outer coat and single, barley-like seed inside. Fruit reaches maturity between August and October.
Rock samphire propagates via seeds and division.
Rock samphire doesn't require soil for the successful cultivation. It can be cultivated in hydroponics (root is kept in liquid medium filled with minerals).
Name "samphire" is derived from the French word "sampiere", shortened version of "Saint Pierre", which is a patron of fishermen. Name of the plant refers to the fact that this plant grows in the coastal areas.
Rock samphire is also known as sea asparagus because it grows close to the sea and shares some morphological similarities with asparagus.
Rock samphire is good source of vitamin C, A and vitamins of the B group.
Entire plant can be used as condiment. Leaves of rock samphire can be consumed raw. They have salty, pungent flavor and crispy texture and they are mostly used for the preparation of various salads. Together with stems and seeds, leaves can be consumed cooked or pickled.
Rock samphire is part of human diet for centuries. It is even mentioned in one of the best-known Shakespeare's pieces - "King Lire".
Diet of convicts on their way to Australia (at the beginning of the colonization of that continent) was based on the rock samphire.
Rock samphire is beneficial for the human health. It can be used as diuretic (to facilitate removal of toxins and excess water from the body), to facilitate digestion, improve functioning of kidneys and liver and to facilitate weight loss. Rock samphire also improves mood, alertness and visual clarity.
Rock samphire is perennial plant (life span: more than 2 years).

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