Pickleweed, in the scientific world is known as the Salicornia europeae variety rubra. It is a halophylic plant meaning it loves salt.  It's Hawaiian name is akulikuli kai. It is a gray-green plant whose stems look like pickles. Salt crystals can be seen forming on the outside of the plant. Pickle weed is edible to humans and other organisms but it is very salty. Pickle weed got its name because it looks like a pickle.


Pickleweed's remain dormant on the soils surface.  It's reporduction season is usually in the begining of spring so the young plant can grow throughout the summer.  When winter comes the ground freezes and the plant dies leaving seeds waiting for the spring thaw and the life cycle repeats itself again.


Pickleweed has an opposite shoot branching pattern, unlike its neighbor the iodine bush.  At a glance it seems as if it has no leaves; however, its central, water conducting stem is surrounded by succulent, salt-solution storing leaf tissues. Photosynthesis is carried out inside the cells of this leaf tissue.  Pickleweed is also known as the “cactus” of Great Salt Lake because it has no visible leaves and only a smooth green stem just like a cactus.  It is found in the Suisun Marsh near California. 


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