Batis maritima


Plant family: Bataceae - Pickleweed


Plant type: Shrub

Plant origin: N/A, California

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One Gallon 0   N/A

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Flower Color White
Blooming Season Fall, Summer
Height 2-3 feet
Spread 1-5 feet
Sun / Shade   
Monthly Water
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Wildlife Friendliness Rating
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Coastal Salt Marsh, Coastal Strand

Best Soil Conditions > Learn More

Sand, Alkaline, Salt

Special Characteristic

Edible , Hedges and Screens, Important to Native People, Salt Tolerant

Plant Highlights

Saltwort is evergreen, low growing, but once rooted growing bushy. The leaves are small, swollen, fleshy and narrowly club-shaped. They are bright green, but can also take on a reddish color. The flowers are small, produced in non-showy spikes, flowering from mid summer to fall. Batis has the ability to live in salty environments and to help it survive in this salty habitat, its fleshy leaves are covered with very fine hairs that reduce the amount of water the plant loses to the air. B. maritima was used by Native Americans as a food, the roots were chewed (like sugar cane) or boiled into a beverage while the stems and leaves were eaten raw, cooked or pickled. B. argillicola is also eaten as a green vegetable. Saltwort has unexpectedly turned out to be a nutritious food source. An analysis of its peppercorn-sized seeds has revealed that they are extremely nutritious, having high quantities of proteins, oils and starches. The seeds are extremely edible, having a nutty taste, and they can be added to salads, toasted or even made into miniature popcorn. The oil is almost identical to safflower oil, which is used for cooking and in salad dressings, as well as for making margarine. The seeds also contain beneficial antioxidants such as tocopherols, which are thought to fight cancer.

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