Seaside Plants

This page is all about seaside plants, both on the beach and in the seaside garden, some plants are in both areas. Some, such as wild carrot, I've seen elsewhere but they seem so at home in the shingle I'm including them here. The saltmarsh plants are so unique, they have their own page.

Curry Plant Helichrysum italicum
Delosperma not sure which species/cultivar
Seaside Daisy Erigeron glaucus
Evening Primrose Oenothera biennis
Duke of Argyll's Tea Tree / Goji Berry Lycium barbarum
Gazania not sure which species/cultivar
Frosted Orache Atriplex laciniata
Grass-leaved Orache Atriplex littoralis
Hawk's-Beard Crepis
Hedge Bindweed Calystegia sepium
Hoary Stock Matthiola incana
Hottentot-Fig Carpobrotus edulis
Pelargonium ?  
Pink Dianthus plumarius ?
Red valerian Centhranthus ruber
Rock Samphire Crithmum maritimum
Beach Rose Rosa rugosa
Sea Beet Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima
Sea Campion Silene uniflora
Sea Holly Eryngium maritimum
Sea Kale Crambe maritima
Sea Mayweed Tripleurospermum maritimum
Sea Radish Raphanus raphanistrum ssp. maritimus
Sea Stock Matthiola sinuata
Sweet Alyssum Lobularia maritima
Thistle Cirsium vulgare
Tree Mallow Malva arborea
Viper's Bugloss Echium vulgare
Wild Carrot Daucus carota
Wild lettuce Lactuca virosa
Yellow Horned Poppy Glaucium flavum
Unknown seaside plants  


Curry Plant (Helichrysum italicum)

helichrysum italicum curry plant



close-up of the flower

delosperma flower close-up

Thank you to reader Ruth who's helped with an ID for this.

Seaside Daisy (Erigeron glaucus)

a popular Hayling Island plant (seen amongst the Hawk's-beard below)


Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)

evening primrose

Duke of Argyll's Tea Tree / Goji Berry (Lycium barbarum)

this is in the seaside garden on Hayling Island (July 2017) but I have seen it growing in London as well

goji berry duke of argyll's tea tree

only a few flowers left on this plant and the fruits are developing, although still green

goji berry green fruits close-up

Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium)

in the dunes back from the seafront

field bindweed

field bindweed

Gazania, not sure which cultivar specifically, will research, in a seaside garden on Hayling Island


close-up of the gazania flower


Grass-leaved Orache (Atriplex littoralis)

I saw this on Hayling Island on the south coast, July 2018

grass-leaved orache flower close-up

grass-leaved orache

entire grass-leaved orache plant

grass-leaved orache

grass-leaved orache close-up of the stems

grass-leaved orache stem close-up


Having another look at this, and the examples I've seen in London, and I think it's Hawk's-beard, either beaked or smooth, not absolutely certain so far. I originally saw it on the south coast but then later saw it in London so have also put it in the main Weed Guide. Perennial, in flower May to August,  long bare stems rising above base rosette of toothed leaves, multiple branching flower stems from the top part of the stems. These yellow-flowered "weeds" can be quite difficult to differentiate. 

I saw this a few days ago (July 9th) on Hayling Island, 2016.

autumn hawkbit

close-up of the leaves

autumn hawkbit leaves

close-up of the flowers, not a great pic, out of focus, but it's too far away to go back easily to take another photo

the next July, 2017, row of flowers in exactly the same place so definitely perennial

yellow-flowered weed

couple years later (2019) in the same place

dyc border Hayling Island

close-up of some of the flowers

dyc border Hayling Island

dyc border flower close-up

dyc border buds

close-up of the leaves

dyc border leaves


another hawk's-beard on Hayling Island

dandelion-like weeds

I think these are something else, looking like giant dandelions, especially the second one, maybe that is indeed what they are?


Hoary Stock (Matthiola incana)

This was taken in May, some flowers have finished.

matthiola incana hoary stock

3 years later, another example after the flowers have finished in July.

unknown hayling island wildflower

Horseweed (Erigeron canadensis) (also see Horseweed on the Weed Identification page)

I do have this weed at home but this one is much larger than any I see at home. It was on the patio on Hayling Island so it's been getting a lot of heat and sun so it has lots of flower buds.


Hottentot-Fig (Carpobrotus edulis)

Thank you to reader Ruth who's helped with an ID for this.


Frosted Orache (Atriplex laciniata)

seafront Hayling Island, July 2018


seaside orache

Pelargonium? a seaside variety?

pelargonium possibly seaside

"Pink" (Dianthus plumarius) ??

not sure anything more specific

dianthus plumarius

Red Valerian (Centhranthus ruber)

seaside garden Hayling Island

red valerian

Rock Samphire (Crithmum maritimum)

in the seaside garden on Hayling Island, August 2019

rock samphire

close-up of the flowers

rock samphire

rock samphire and frosted orache in the shingle along the seafront, July 2018

rock samphire

rock samphire

Rosa Rugosa

seaside garden Hayling Island, but I also have this in my front garden in London

rosa rugosa

the rose hips on this rose are enormous, like fruit

rosa rugosa hips

rosa rugosa hips

Sea Beet (Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima)

a very sprawling example I saw at Eastcoke Corner on Hayling Island

sea beet

sea beet close-up

sea beet

Sea Campion (Silene uniflora)

Sandy Point, Hayling Island, 11-8-2019

sea campion

sea campion

wider view of the entire clump of sea campion on the seafront shingle

sea campion

Sea Holly (Eryngium maritimum)

This is at the nature reserve at Sandy Point on Hayling Island. I don't recall seeing any before so I wonder if they planted some wildflowers there.

sea holly Hayling Island

sea holly Hayling Island

Sea Kale (Crambe maritima)

sea kale

when I saw this sea kale (July 2018) the flowers were finished leaving lots and lots of seed pods

sea kale seed pods

Sea Mayweed (Tripleurospermum maritimum)

sea mayweed on the left, a bit of frosted orache bottom right, 11-8-2019

sea mayweed and frosted orache

July 2018

sea mayweed

Sea Radish (Raphanus maritimus)

this plant has the remnants of some yellow flowers at the end of the stems in the centre on the right, seed pods on the left, August is the end of the season for this, I saw quite a few plants but this was the only one (or one of the very few) that still had flowers on it to help with identification (I didn't know it before), Hayling Island 11-8-2019

sea radish

sea radish

close-up of the leaves and stem (which is hairy) and some seed pods

sea radish

sea radish

close-ups of the seed pods

sea radish

more seed pods

sea radish seed pods

Sea Stock (Matthiola sinuata)

sea stock

sea stock

Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)

sweet alyssum


I'm not sure what thistle this is (researching it) but it's definitely comfortable in a salty situation, growing in the shingle on the seafront, yellow horned poppy on the left

seaside thistle

in this view the water is visible in the distance on the right

seaside thistle

close-up of a flower

seaside thistle

Tree Mallow

this was in the seaside garden on Hayling Island August 2019, obviously at the end of the season for this, just a couple flowers left

tree mallow

tree mallow

Viper's Bugloss (Echium vulgare)

this was in the dunes, further back from the beach July 2018

echium vulgare

these were some spent flowers nearby

echium vulgare spent flowers

Wild Carrot (Daucus carota)

This is growing happily in seaside gardens and seafront shingle on Hayling Island, July 2017.

wild carrot

July 2018

wild carrot

in the seafront shingle, July 2018

wild carrot

I think this was on the dunes further back from the beach, 2018

wild carrot

Wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa)

(low weed at the bottom is pellitory-of-the-wall) This is in the driveway of the flat where I stay on Hayling Island, the first place I'd ever seen it (August 2015). Recently I'm seeing it in London, a lot.

close-up of the wild lettuce flowers

wild lettuce flowers

close-up of the wild lettuce leaves

wild lettuce leaves

Yellow Horned Poppy (Glaucium flavum)

yellow horned poppy

close-up of the flower

yellow horned poppy

yellow horned poppy

the seed pods can be enormous, still green in this photo

yellow horned poppy

those enormous seed pods, now brown

yellow horned poppy seed pods

back in 2017, there weren't any yellow horned poppies to see or I wasn't looking in the right place so wasn't sure what this was

unknown hayling island

I didn't see any in bloom last year (2018) either

yellow horned poppy seed pods


a succulent behind, buck's-horn plantain in front, buds but I won't see the flowers as I won't be back this year

a sedum / succulent I saw in the seaside garden on Hayling Island where I stay but I guess I missed the flowers this year