Native to many a northern coastline on the Pacific and Atlantic, this uniquely briny plant delivers the oceanic taste of oysters, anchovies and mushrooms in its fleshy blue-green leaves. A small bite of the leaf and you’ll think you’ve just slurped down a fresh oyster from the Puget Sound. It’s quickly becoming a favorite with chefs and works well in many dishes to add a seafood flare without having to break out the shucking knife. With a similar leaf color to Sea Kale, you could make a fantastic oceanic perennial veggie garden with these! Maybe plant a thicket of Sea Berry behind it all and call it a plant life aquatic?
Finally, a vegan alternative to the briny bivalves for our vegan friend Colin! He says, “what’s a bivalve?”
Latin Name: Mertensia maritima
Site and Soil: Full to part sun and well-drained soil.
Hardiness: Hardy to -40° F.
Size at Maturity: 6″ in height by 2-3′ feet wide
Bloom Time: late spring
Pests & Diseases: Slugs love the leaves as much as we do. Strange as they taste so sea-salty and salt kills slugs. Plant in a container or mulch with something slugs don’t like.
USDA Zone: 3