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Cakile edentula

Cakile edentula (Bigelow) Hook.

 

Sea Rocket

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderBrassicalesMustard, cabbage, caper, papaya, nasturtiums, many others; most produce mustard oil
FamilyBrassicaceaeMustards, cabbages
GenusCakile
Speciesedentula

About plant names...

American sea rocket, named for its rocket-like seed pods, is native to beaches and sand dunes of eastern North America. It is an invasive in Japan and Australia.

Plants: Plants are 6-20" (15-50 cm) high, and about the same around, with succulent stems. They look rather disheveled, like tumbleweed.

Leaves: Basal leaves are ovate to spatulate. Leaves are alternate, 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) × ¼-½" (6.3-12 mm), oblanceolate, with crenate, shallowly lobed, or undulate margins.

Flowers: Upper stems bear racemes of flowers 2-10" (5-25 cm) long. Flowers are up to ¼" (6.3 mm) around, lavender to white, with 4 petals, 6 stamens, and a pistil with a single style. Flowers appear from July to September.

Fruits: Each seedpod is elongated, ½-¾" (1.3-1.9 cm) long, and comprised of two segments. The lower segment is roughly cylindrical and about ¼" (6.3 mm) long. The upper segment is a cylinder about ½" (1.3 cm) long, that tapers to a beak. Each segment typically contains a seed. There is a reason for the complex-seeming design: the upper seg­ment floats, and carries its payload on a sea adventure to a distant locale. Meanwhile, the lower segment typically sprouts nearby.

Edibility: Young stems and leaves are “pungent,” somewhat like horseradish. Young leaves are mixed with other greens in salads, and older stronger tasting leaves are cooked with other leaves as a potherb.

Online References:

Cakile edentula var. lacustris at Illinois Wildflowers

Cakile edentula on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site

Cakile edentula at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Cakile edentula on JSTOR Plant Science

Cakile edentula (Sea Rocket)

9/18/2016 · Deer Isle Beach Vegetation Reclamation Project

Cakile edentula (Sea Rocket)

9/18/2016 · Deer Isle Beach Vegetation Reclamation Project

Cakile edentula description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 3 Jul 2017.

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Cakile edentula (Sea Rocket)

7/27/2015 · Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth, ME
≈ 2½ × 1¾" (7.1 × 4.7 cm)

Cakile edentula (Sea Rocket)

7/27/2015 · Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth, ME
≈ 3 × 2" (8.4 × 5.6 cm)

Cakile edentula (Sea Rocket)

9/18/2016 · Deer Isle Beach Vegetation Reclamation Project

Cakile edentula (Sea Rocket)

9/18/2016 · Deer Isle Beach Vegetation Reclamation Project

Cakile edentula (Sea Rocket)

7/27/2015 · Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth, ME
≈ 12 × 8" (30 × 20 cm)

Range:

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