Weed of the Month – October 2014


(Cakile maritima)


(Photos: E. Cousins, Cape Jervis)

This member of the mustard family is a sprawling, succulent annual, up to half a metre tall. It grows in clumps in the sand along seashores, such as Morgans Beach. Leaves are fleshy, shiny, green and deeply lobed. The 4-petalled pale purple flowers appear year round. They open from the bottom of the stalk, with fruits sometimes appearing at the bottom of that stalk simultaneously. The ‘rocket’ in the common name doesn’t come from the plant being edible like salad greens, but from the shape of its corky brown fruits … they are swollen, both with or without horns, near the base, making a ‘rocket’ shape!