By in Science

Sea sandwort

Sea sandwort (Honkenya peploides) is found all round the coast of Great Britain, especially on sandy beaches above the high water mark, where it helps in the creation of sand dunes.

It has fleshy bright green leaves and creeping stems. It grows to a height of ten inches maximum but may only be two inches high when fully grown. It has both flowering and non-flowering stems, with the small white flowers appearing between May and September. Male and female flowers grow on separate plants.

Sea sandwort has a strong root system that helps it stay in place when the wind blows. It acts as a windbreak in that the sand builds up on the windward side, which could be the beginning of a dune. Should the plant be buried in sand, it will send up new shoots to reach the light with the old shoots dying back.

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Image Credit » Mike Pennington. Licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licence.

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MegL wrote on January 30, 2016, 6:55 AM

It is certainly growing on what appears to be a very bare surface. Those plants that bind sand dunes together are very useful.

markgraham wrote on January 30, 2016, 9:17 AM

This plant adds to what could be a desolate surrounding. Some beaches are just sand and rocks but when you add this plant it adds some color to a bland scene.