Black-headed Seagull, common ragwort, Common Sea Lavender, gorse, hare's-foot clover, harvestman, mudflats, oil, Perennial Glasswort, plants, sand dunes, sea, sea campion, Sea Sandwort, Sea-holly, seashore, Suffolk, sunset, thrift, Walberswick
After a busy day last Friday and a hot, sunny day too, we thought it might be nice to go to the coast for a little while. We knew that it would be extremely crowded for most of the day so we left it until after we had eaten our evening meal and set off just before 8.00 pm.
We decided that we’d visit Walberswick as we hadn’t been there for some time and parked the car in the car-park there at about 8.30 pm.
The mass of mauve flowers you can see in the photo above are Sea Lavender.
I couldn’t get a clear picture of these flowers – mainly because I couldn’t get down low enough! Sea-lavender (no relation of true Lavender) is related to the cultivated Statices – everlasting flowers. Many people pick these flowers illegally to make dried flower arrangements. Strangely, the drier the ground in which it grows, the taller it gets. This plant grows in great masses on the North Norfolk coast and I would love to see it there again.
I cropped the photo I took.
In Richard Mabey’s ‘Flora Britannica’ he says ‘… (Sea Sandwort) is one of the earliest colonisers of sand-dunes and shingle, and remarkable for its sprawling concertinas of geometrically stacked leaves’. It is able to keep growing upwards so if ever it is inundated with sand or mud it can survive. As with many seashore plants it is succulent and edible.
I was sorry to see this oil on the beach. This is evidence that tankers have been flushing out their tanks illegally in N W European waters .
We made our way back to the dunes where I found a couple more plants to photograph.
Another name for Glasswort is Samphire and like Common Glasswort (an annual plant which is also called Samphire) it can be eaten lightly boiled or pickled in spiced vinegar.
For many hundreds of years Glasswort was used in the manufacture of glass. The succulent stems were gathered at low tide, dried and burned in heaps. The crude ash which is high in soda was then fused with sand to make a poor quality glass. Saltworts were also used for this purpose.
We had enjoyed our hour on the beach and went home cool and relaxed.
Thanks for visiting!