Coastline Botany

Thrift on a rocky shore

Taking a walk along a coastline gives you a great insight into the diversity of plant life that exists there. Although its a little too early in the season to see much at the moment, it was nice to see a couple of plants down in Orkney last week.

Thrift (Armeria maritima), sea thrift or sea pink, is a common plant on the northern hemisphere coastline.  To be thrifty means to have bought a lot for very little money and the phrase is thought to be the reason why thrift was used as the emblem for the British threepence coin issued between 1937 and 1952 which had a design of thrift on the reverse.

Scurvy-grass or spoonwort (Cochlearia) is a genus of about 30 species in the family Brassicaceae. They are widely distributed in temperate and arctic areas of the northern hemisphere, most commonly found in coastal regions, on cliff-tops and salt marshes where their high tolerance of salt enables them to avoid competition from larger, but less salt-tolerant plants.

Thrift on a clifftop
Scurvy grass
Scurvy grass