This is one of those plants which are said to be ‘variable’, a term which usually makes my heart sink. It sometimes is yellow, sometimes green-blue and sometimes bright red – this latter in the later part of the season. As its name suggests, it is a coastal plant, living on the middle and lower levels of muddy saltmarshes and on shingle. It can be erect (to 50 cm) and it can be prostrate, but one thing is certain, it is absolutely hairless. It has alternate, fleshy, narrow leaves which are slightly concave, and inconspicuous, miniscule, green flowers growing in the axils of the upper leaves, from one to three together. Each flower has five fleshy sepals, five stamens and two styles. These flowers are visible from July to September. This is an annual, and a native species which belongs to the Chenopodiaceae family.
I first recorded and photographed this plant in 2009 at Bannow Island, County Wexford
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre