Information on Sea Rocket

Common Name: Sea Rocket
Scientific Name: Cakile maritima
Irish Name: Cearrbhacán mara
Family Group: Brassicaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


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


Straggling little annual which spreads along sandy coastal beaches and shingle, this wildflower blooms from June to September.  It bears its 4-petalled white, pink or lilac flowers (10-15mm across) in terminal clusters on erect stems.  The leaves are succulent and pinnately lobed, and the plant can tolerate extremely salty conditions and being buried in sand on occasion. The seed pods are egg-shaped and waisted and are capable of floating.  This is a native plant and it belongs to the family Brassicaceae. 

My first record of this plant is from Killiney Beach in Co Dublin in 1977 and I photographed it at Blackhall Strand, Co Wexford in 2007. 

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

Rocket, Sea
Rocket, Sea

Sea Rocket was the first higher plant species found in Surtsey after the eruption of 1965.  In the late summer of that year the Sea Rocket flowered and was the first species to reach that stage.  For further information about this plant and others which have adapted and grown on this island, see www.surtsey.is from which this information was obtained.