Glassworts are a very difficult group of plants for an amateur to attempt to identify with only slight variations between species. Apart from Perennial Glasswort, these plants are annuals and they are characterised by having slender, succulent, erect stems which are variously waisted, swollen or beaded. These stems start out green but, in some of the species, these stems turn red as they mature. They have a cactus-like appearance with extremely microscopic flowers, usually in groups of three, emerging from the fleshy tissue at intervals along the stems. While it seems as though there are no leaves on this plant, they are there but are fused into the stems, forming enlarged sheaths which encircle the stems. These plants produce their minute flowers in August and September and they are to be found in coastal areas, on saltmarshes and intertidal mudflats. There are several native species and they belong to the Chenopodiaceae family.
I first recorded and photographed these plants at Bannow Island, County Wexford in 2009.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre