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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

24 July, 2016

Shrubby Sea-blite: the alkali seepweed



Not all rare plants are spectacular and interesting! indeed many are rather nondescript or ordinary and this is certainly the case with the shrubby sea-Blite (Suaeda vera). 
Shrubby sea-blite is a nationally rare plant that grows where saltmarsh and shingle beach meet, a little above the high water line. It is found mainly on the saltmarshes of the Thames Estuary but it can be found in places around Poole Harbour in Dorset. At first sight it looks a bit like a heather and around being Poole Harbour you could be forgiven for putting it down as that.
In the United States this species is called the alkali seepweed. I can see where the seepweed comes from as it occurs where water seeps through the shingle from the surrounding area. Around Poole Harbour the conditions are acidic rather than alkaline and my books make no reference to a preference in soil chemistry other than the fact that it has to be salty. As salt is sodium chloride and both sodium and chlorine are acidic then the alkali connection seems to be unfounded?
Shrubby Sea-blite: the alkali seepweed