The leaves are a delicacy with a slightly salty taste. Pour in the sowing with lightly salted water or grow on saline soils. The leaves and stems can be eaten, the somewhat fleshy leaves are used to make pickles or are cooked, the plant is sweet in taste. The plant has Ophthalmic properties. A perennial growing to 50cm. found salt marshes, estuaries and occasionally to inland salt works. The flowers have purple ray florets, blooming from July-September. The leaves are fleshy lanceolate
Seeds in packet: 30
Surface sow seeds in spring in a cold frame. Do not allow the compost to become dry. Pre-chilling the seed for two weeks can improve germination rates. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks at 20°C. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Succeeds in most good garden soils, preferring one that is well-drained and moisture retentive. Prefers a sunny position. The plants tend to be short-lived and populations need significant new recruitment each year from new seedlings. The plant flowers well into autumn and hence provides a valuable source of nectar for late-flying butterflies such as painted lady and red admiral.