Photo: Salicornia bigelovii

Salicornia bigelovii Torr.

Dwarf Glasswort

Habitat: Saltmarshes [Tidal wetland (non-forested, wetland)]

Range: Nova Scotia south along coast to Texas and Mexico. Also in California.

Aids to Identification: Glassworts are succulent, fleshy plants with opposite leaves and jointed stems that are found in saline environments. The leaves are very small and scale-like. The flowers are tiny and are sunken into the stem. Dwarf glasswort has ascending stems and pointed scales. The inflorescence is wider than the stem.

Photo: Salicornia bigelovii

Ecological characteristics: Found growing in coastal saltmarshes.

Phenology: Flowering late summer and early fall.

Family: Amaranthaceae

Synonyms: Salicornia mucronata Bigelow.

Photo: Comparison of Salicornia bigelovii (left) to S. depressa

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 9 towns in the following counties: Cumberland, Sagadahoc, York.

Photo: Salicornia bigelovii specimen

Reason(s) for rarity: At northern edge of range; scarcity of habitat.

Conservation considerations: Hydrologic alteration of saltmarshes could pose threat to populations.