Information on Sea-milkwort

Common Name: Sea-milkwort
Scientific Name: Glaux maritima
Irish Name: Lus an tsailte
Family Group: Primulaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Sea-milkwort is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


The most interesting thing about this little wildflower is that it is without true petals.  What seem to be five pink petals are in fact sepals.  The little 5-6mm flowers are hairless and grow in the junctions of the leaves and stems.  They bloom from May to September in saltmarshes, on shingle and saline soils.  The leaves are ovate and fleshy thereby being able to store water in salty habitats.  It is a very low growing, mat-forming plant.  This native plant is confined mostly to coastal habitats and belongs to the family Primulaceae

I first saw this plant in 2008 at Ballyteigue, Co Wexford where it was kindly pointed out to me and identified by Roy Watson of the Wexford Naturalists Field Club.  I photographed it at Tacumshin, Co Wexford shortly afterwards. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Sea-milkwort
Sea-milkwort

Sea-milkwort stores fresh water in its fleshy leaves and this helps to counteract the salt-water in the environment it inhabits.