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Lindsay's Flora Blog - 28th September

Posted: Sunday 27th September 2020 by trustadmin

Sea Rocket (Cakile maritima)

Annual plants often colonise shingle beaches just above the strandline. Floating seeds are washed up onto the shingle in winter, germinate and develop during the summer and the seeds are then carried away in the autumn. Sea Rocket is one of these.

It has pretty pale lilac flowers and narrow, hairless and very fleshy leaves with irregular outlines. The plant generally grows at the top of the beach in sand and the water in the cells of the leaves helps to dilute the salt with which it comes into contact, either from sea-spray or inundation on a high spring tide.

It flowers late in the year compared to other plants and its sweet scent attract bees and other insects in the autumn when it may be the only plant remaining in flower along the shore. It is easily seen along the top of Braye beach and at the sides of the track down from the Common, although you may find it at the top of other beaches too.

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