Saltwort (Salicornia spp.)
There are several species of saltwort present on Estero Island and several of them can be found growing naturally along the shoreline at Mound House. These low growing fleshy plants are extremely salt tolerant and can even spend hours at a time immersed in salt water. These plants are able to retain the sodium found in salt water. As such, the genus Salicornia includes many varieties also known as glasswort. This name taken from the ancient practice of using the ashes of Salicornia to make soda ash, a component in glass making as well as in the manufacture of soap. Also known as “sea beans,” these plants are edible and are used in salads and can be steamed or sautéed.