Information on Sea-purslane

Common Name: Sea-purslane
Scientific Name: Atriplex portulacoides
Irish Name: Lus an Ghaill
Family Group: Chenopodiaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


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


This is a sprawling, clumpy perennial undershrub which spreads its way across the dry, upper reaches of salt-marshes, mainly along our east and south coasts. It's a mealy, silvery plant and its spreading branches can reach 100 cm. Brown stems bear very small yellow-green wind-pollinated flowers in short spikes in the leaf axils, the stamens and styles on separate flowers. They bloom from July to October The grey-green leaves of this evergreen shrub are ovate at the lower part of the plant with narrow leaves further up. This is a native plant and it belongs to the Chenopodiaceae family.

I first recorded this plant growing near the South Wall, Dublin in 2006 and I photographed it at Bannow Island, Co Wexford in 2009. 

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

Sea-purslane
Sea-purslane

The leaves of Sea-purslane are edible, with a crunchy texture; however they would need to be washed in several changes of water to remove the sand completely.