Two more samphires

Whilst epicureans seek out marsh samphire on the muddy foreshores, two other samphires are flowering on the rocks at Llanddwyn.

Golden samphire (Inula crithmoides) is particularly pretty. It has bright yellow daisy-like flowers and fleshy leaves with an aromatic, citrusy scent. Golden samphire is quite scarce in the UK, so we’re lucky to have it here.

Golden samphire (Inula crithmoides).

Golden samphire (Inula crithmoides).

Golden samphire flowers

Golden samphire flowers

Rock samphire (Crithmum maritimum) also has succulent, citrusy scented leaves, but its flowers are tiny, forming a dense umbel head with a yellowish hue.

Rock samphire is sometimes known as sea fennel and in the past it was commonly eaten: either boiled as a vegetable, or preserved as an aromatic pickle. Golden samphire was sometimes pickled too, but was considered inferior to rock samphire.

Rock samphire (Crithmum maritimum) scrambling over the cliffs of Llanddwyn.

Rock samphire (Crithmum maritimum) scrambling over the cliffs of Llanddwyn.

The tiny little flowers of rock samphire.

The tiny little flowers of rock samphire.

None of these samphires are related to each other: the name samphire just relates to the fact that they were considered to be herbs of St Peter (Saint Pierre) because they grew by the sea. St Pierre became corrupted to samphire.

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