E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Salicornia rubra A. Nelson
red glasswort (red swampfire)
Amaranthaceae (Amaranth family)
(Previously in Chenopodiaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Larry Halverson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #8151)

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Distribution of Salicornia rubra
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a fibrous root; stems decumbent to erect, solitary, simple to freely branched, 10-25 cm tall/long, glabrous, fleshy, often reddish with age.
Stem leaves reduced to opposite, scalelike, fused bracts; lower scales slightly spreading, obtuse to rounded.
Inflorescence of fleshy spikes, the flowers sunken in depressions of the joints just above the axils and opposite the fused bracts, the joints of the spike mostly 2 (rarely 2.5) mm long and as thick, or almost as thick as the spikes; flowers in groups of 3, central flowers in each cluster much exceeding the lateral ones; spikes 2-5 cm long.
Thin, papery-walled, membranous bladders enclosed by spongy flower scales, egg-shaped to diamond-shaped; seeds 1 per bladder.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Yellow
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Wet salt marshes, shorelines and saline and alkaline flats in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; infrequent in S BC; N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to GA, KS, NV and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Salicornia rubra

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 440 617 880
Slope Gradient (%) 0 2 7
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
135 62 350
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
5 6 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(2), IDF(1), PP(5)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Salicornia europaea subsp. rubra (A. Nelson) Breitung
Salicornia europaea var. prona (Lunell) Boivin

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References