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Posts Tagged ‘beach flora’

Edible Beach Treasures: A Seaside Smorgasbord!

Posted by E.G.D. on January 25, 2018

White Sands National Monument

Soaptree Yucca at Dusk (Bits of This Plant are Edible!)

Once upon a time, I lived in Honolulu, and I have a number of Hawaiian friends who were happy to find and eat raw sea creatures on day trips to the beach.  It’s part of the culture, though I have to admit, I found it a little bit yucky.  You see, while thousands of people worldwide associate beach trips with seafood, I happen to be a vegetarian.  The situation got me asking this question, though: what is a person to do when he or she is a vegetarian at the beach if he/she forgot to pack a picnic?  After a bit of research, I now know that depending on the time of year and the specific beach, a vegetarian might have even better luck foraging for food than the shellfish eaters!

Now, of course, some of these edible plants are all kinds of obvious, like coconuts when you’re in Hawaii (or other tropical islands/ archipelagos) or like shallow-water seaweeds when you’re in Japan.  Some of these things are less obvious, but are still quite easy to identify when you know what you’re looking for.  Here are some articles with great pictures that can help you locate, identify, and prepare these specially edible beach treasures:

Seagrape_(Coccoloba_uvifera)_shrub_at_Playa_Lucia,_Yabucoa,_Puerto_Rico

Edible Sea-grape.  Photo by Drew Danielson (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

1. The first article is from Sanibel Sea School:

5 Edible Plants on Sanibel

Four of the plants are recommended for their fruits, and one for its leaves, and they all look delicious! If you’re planning a foraging expedition in Florida, this is the article for you.

2. The next article is by Real World Survivor:

8 Edible Wild Coastal Plants

This particular article is delightfully specific in its plant descriptions and recommendations for what bits a person should eat!

3. Our third article is actually more like a very long, detailed list!  DIY Wood Boat gives us the names and regions of a truly remarkable number of edible beach plants:

Edible Seashore Plants and Seaweed

It doesn’t give you much by way of pictures, but once you have the names and regions where the plants can be found, I’m confident you could google yourself some reference images!

4. Next is a UK specific article from Goeff’s Fungi & Foraging:

Coastal Plants

The article is informative, the reference images are lovely, and the author appears to be happy to answer specific questions about forageable beach plants, which is a really cool perk.

5. My last article selection is from Rhoscolyn Life:

Edible Coastal Flora to Look Out For

Seeing as Rhoscolyn is a British village, this one is also UK specific.  I especially like this article for its helpful tips about how best to prepare the various coastal vegetables.

To wrap things up, there are all sorts of edible leaves, seeds, and fruits on the seashores of the world, but please bear in mind that some are protected, like sea oats, and some can resemble other plants that are actually poisonous, like several varieties of berry.   Believe it or not, falling coconuts can also cause grievous bodily harm!  I suppose my ultimate conclusion is forage away, beachgoers, but know before you go.  Also, don’t forget to invite me to your picnic ^_^.

'BEWARE_FALLING_COCONUTS'_sign_in_Honolulu,_Hawaii

Photo by Wmpearl (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Flora | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Pretty in Pink!

Posted by Jody on May 2, 2014

Click on any photo to enlarge and scroll through ~~~

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot.

I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.

I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” ~Audrey Hepburn

~~~

Posted in Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

For the Beach Botanist: Marram Grass

Posted by alainaflute on August 22, 2012

Marram Grass, Holkham Nature Reserve, England                                                                                  (Evelyn Simak/Geograph Project/Wikimedia Commons)

Sand is associated with time slipping away, things that can’t be grasped, and the impermanence of all things…not exactly prime real estate. I’ll move in on Friday!

It’s amazing how many forms of life can call the beach home. With its ever changing tide and features, animals still come and go, and plants cling to the shore, popping out of rocks and shooting up from the sandy dunes. I don’t always stop to think about how cool it is when grass or trees pop up on the beach, but it really is amazing! Here is one such plant I discovered whilst browsing a “Beach” subject search on World Book Advanced: 

Marram grass has long, narrow, pale-green leaves. It grows in dense clumps on sandy beaches and coastal sand dunes. The clumps can be over 3 feet (1 meter) high.

Marram grass is a xerophyte—that is, a plant adapted to life in dry surroundings. Its roots can grow over 20 feet (6 meters) long to reach water deep beneath the surface. It can also curl its leaves to reduce the amount of water evaporating from them.

Marram grass grows from a network of branching underground stems called rhizomes. The rhizomes and long roots anchor the grass to the sand and stabilize sand dunes. The grass acts as a windbreak and windblown sand collects around it. This makes the sand dunes grow bigger and extends the land seaward.

Marram grass is native to Europe and is sometimes called European beach grass. It has been planted in America and Australia to stabilize sand dunes. Its leaves are sometimes used for making baskets, brooms, mats, and thatch.

Marram grass belongs to the grass family, Gramineae (Poaceae). It is Ammophila arenaria.”

“Marram grass.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2012. Web.  1 Aug. 2012.

Marram Grass at Laggan Bay, Scotland. Marram grass is important in holding the dunes in place. (Mary and Angus Hogg/Geograph Project/Wikimedia Commons)

This tenacious and helpful dune grass overlooks some of the most stunning views the world has to offer. I can almost hear it blowing in the cool ocean breezes, inviting me to flip off my shoes to stroll past the dunes and down to the beach.

There’s even a works cited up there! Don’t you feel like you’re back in school? Well, shake off that feeling, rub in some sunscreen, and go ponder the meaning of existence (or not) on your beach towel.

“Our best built certainties are but sand-houses

and subject to damage from any wind of doubt that blows.” – Mark Twain.

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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