Prickly Saltwort is a distinctive semi-prostrate annual which bears really tiny, solitary flowers in the leaf-axils, each one enclosed in a pair of bracts and 5 spine-tipped sepals. The flowers have 5 cream-coloured petals and 5 stamens with creamy anthers as can be seen in the photograph on the left. The leaves are succulent and rounded, tapering into a sharp spine. The stems are striped pale green or red and much branched. The fruit is enclosed within spiny bracts. This plant lives up to its name extremely well with plenty of prickles - take care if handling. It grows to about 50cm tall, is a species which can be found above the tide-line on undisturbed beaches, more on the east coast than the west with no records on the north-eastern part of our island. It flowers from July to September and is a native species which belongs to the Amaranth/ Amaranthaceae/ Pigweed family (formerly Goosefoot/ Chenopodiaceae family).
I first saw and photographed this species on the strand at the southernmost tip of Raven Point in County Wexford in 2018.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre