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The Seashore

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Atriplex (Halimione) portulacoides (Sea purslane)

sea purslane

sea purslane flower

Intolerant of waterlogged ground, therefore favours more sandy areas

Salt is extruded onto the surface of the leaves via salt glands and eventually salt laden leaves are shed

Leaves are succulent

Not very tolerant of grazing or trampling

When conditions are favourable (optimal niche) this species can blanket cover whole areas of the saltmarsh

Hairs on the leaves reduce water loss

Has mycorrhizae on the roots which helps the plant obtain nutrients in a nutrient poor environment

Halimione portulacoides

Sometimes very short people with disproportionately large heads are to be seen on the saltmarsh, if you see them run away.

N.B. Bostrychia scorpioides (a red seaweed)

This alga grows epiphytically around the woody stems of sea purslane (Atriplex portulacoides). Here it is protected from dehydration to a certain extent and from sunlight (which would denature its pigments) to a great extent.

 

 


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