An Artificial Key to the Samphires of a Saltfield
Drawn, created and published by Peri Coleman '96

1a Has 5-12 flowers in each row Go to 2   Sarcocornia
1b Has only 3 flowers in each row Go to 3
2a Flowers are in a single row Sarcocornia quinqueflora
2b Middle flowers in each row are doubled Sarcocornia blackiana
3a All flowers are bisexual All flowers are bisexual Go to 4 Halosarcia
3b Middle flower is bisexual, outer flowers are male Sclerostegia arbuscula Sclerostegia arbuscula
4a Terminal inflorescence almost even Halosarcia pruinasa Halosarcia pruinosa
4b Terminal inflorescence has separate fan shaped bracts Halosarcia flabellifarmis Halosarcia flabelliformis
4c Terminal inflorescence is spiky Halosarcia indica Halosarcia indica (has 2 subspecies)
4d Terminal inflorescence is uneven Terminal inflorescence is uneven Go to 5
5a Seed is comma shaped, reddish-brown to-black, with concentric rings of bumps. Central flower is shaped thus: Halosarcia pergranulata Halosarcia pergranulata
5b Seed oval, smooth, red-brown. Central flower shaped thus: Halosarcia halecnemoides Halosarcia halecnemoides


  • Halosarcia pergranulata and H. halocnemoides sometimes hybridise.
  • Sarcocornia species are "decumbent" - they are low growing, they lay down and set roots at the nodes on the stem.
  • The colours in this key are for illustrative purposes only - see a text book for information on the exact colouration of different species.


Please feel free to use this key, but respect the copyright. All use of the key and illustrations should be referenced as follows:

Coleman PSJ (1996) An Artificial Key to the Samphires of the Saltfield , Delta Environmental Consulting , Adelaide