Common glasswort has an appealing crisp snap and a special salty flavor that has made it popular in many restaurants. In the past, when salt was expensive, people used glasswort as a substitute.
Where to Find It
Common glasswort has adapted to harsh environments in the open areas along the coast. It grows in large colonies in marshes that are regularly flooded with salt water. It needs salt water around its roots to survive, so it will grow far out in the ocean, in small salt lakes, or in the mud and mire.
Salt marshes, marshlands.
When to Find It
You can pick glasswort from June until September.
Entire plant: June, July, August, September.
How to Spot It
Common glasswort looks like a small, spineless cactus that branches out with many short, jointed stems. The stems are round, fleshy, and succulent, and they form pairs above one another. The plant can grow to be 30 cm tall and can vary in color from bright green to reddish. Over the course of the season, glasswort gets thicker and woodier.
How to Pick It
Clip or cut only the top half of the plant so it will continue to grow. Later in the season, when the glasswort has become woodier, you should cut only its top third. Glasswort grows in loose ground, so you'll easily pull up the entire plant with its roots if you try to pick it by hand.
Risk of misidentifying the plant
There is no risk of mistaking the plant for another dangerous or undesirable plant.