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Beaded Glasswort

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Beeded Glasswort photos

Scientific Name:Sarcocornia quinqueflora (syn. Salicornia quinqueflora)
Image:  Beaded Glasswort
Beaded Glasswort - plants
Photo: ex-Matters & Bozon

Other Common Name:



Native to all Australian states and to New Zealand.

Plant Description:

Leafless, stoloniferous,
perennial, glabrous (without hairs), succulent herbs or subshrubs. Normally grows to 30 cm tall, sometimes to 50 cm but often much shorter and forming mats to only a few cm height. Branches or stems are sprawling to shortly erect, and made up of 5-20 mm long, cylindric or cup-shaped segments (articles) which may be shortly 2-lobed at the apex. Flowers are inconspicuous and contained in whorl-like rings (each 'false' whorl at the same level) within 1-5 cm long and 3-5 mm wide succulent spikes at the ends of branches. Flowers are in single rows of 10-18 per false whorl and often only noticeable when their yellow anthers or white stigmas protrude. Each spongy fruiting body is about 8 mm long and contains circular seeds which are covered with pointed and sometimes hooked hairs.


Found in a range of soil types from sands through sandy loams, clay loams to clay but prefers the heavier textures. Common in southern inland and coastal Victoria on dry saltpans and salt marshes and around salt lakes.

RegionSalinity ClassWaterlogging Class
Mallee, Loddon MurrayS3, S4W2, W3
Wimmera, Central & NorthernS3, S4W2, W3
Western, Gippsland, CoastalS3, S4W2, W3


Beaded Glasswort is very similar to Thick-head Glasswort (
Sarcocornia blackiana). Thick-head Glasswort is normally a larger plant, growing to 60 cm tall and with wider flowering spikes, 4-9 mm diameter. Often the central flowers in each false whorl of Thick-head Glasswort is in two tiers. The seeds of Thick-head Glasswort have blunt hairs or papillae. Thick Headed Glasswort is largely confined to near coastal sites and the western parts of the Wimmera. Beaded and Thick-head Glassworts are similar to the Samphires (Halosarcia) but are usually shorter and more prostrate. The Halosarcias have only 3 flowers per false whorl.

Beeded Glasswort Photos

Image:  Beaded Glasswort Fruit
Beaded Glasswort - fruit
Photo: A J Brown
Beaded Glasswort - flower with anthers
Beaded Glasswort - flower with anthers
Photo: A J Brown

Beaded Glasswort - salt affected
Beaded Glasswort - salt affected
Photo: A J Brown

Beaded Glasswort - upright
Beaded Glasswort - young upright and older prostrate plants
Photo: A J Brown

Beaded Glasswort - population
Beaded Glasswort - population
Photo: A J Brown

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