Cakile maritima (European searocket), is a common plant in the mustard family. It is widespread in Europe, North Africa and western Asia, especially on coastlines. It can now be found in many other areas of the world where it has been introduced. It is an inhabitant of the west and east coasts of North America, where it has the potential to become a noxious weed. This is an annual plant which grows in clumps or mounds in the sand on beaches and bluffs. The shiny leaves are fleshy, green and tinted with purple or magenta, and long-lobed. It has white to light purple flowers and sculpted, segmented, corky brown fruits one to three centimeters long. The fruits float and are water-dispersed.
It is a glabrous, succulent annual, with a slender or stout taproot. It has a branched stem prostrate or ascending, growing up to 15–45 cm (5.9–17.7 in). The lobed leaves, are flesh-like and alternate (spaced), they are different from top and bottom of the stem, the lower leaves are obovate or oblancelate, while the upper ones are oblong. It blooms in the UK, between June and August. The small flowers come in shades of white, lilac-coloured or purple, with 4 petals measuring up to 25 mm (0.98 in) across. Later it produces green maturing to brown, seed capsules (fruit), that are short and stubby. They contain 2 yellow, brown, smooth seeds. The seed oil contains a high level of erucic acid,
Distribution and habitat
It is found in Africa within Algeria, the Canary Islands, Egypt, Libya, the Madeira Islands, Morocco and Tunisia. In Western Asia, it is found in the Caucasus, Georgia, Iran, Israel, Syria and Turkey. In Eastern Europe, it is found in Estonia and Ukraine. In middle Europe, it is found within Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland. In Northern Europe, in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom. In Southeastern Europe, within Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. In Southeastern Europe, within France, Portugal and Spain. It is also widely naturalised outside of its native range, in North America.
It grows on the foreshores near large dune systems, and in shingle banks. It is tolerant of salt spray and transient seawater inundation. It is pollinated by a wide range of insects, from Apis mellifera, Eristalis intricarius and Pieris rapae.
As the seed oil contains a high level of erucic acid which can have pathological effects on the cardiac muscle of several animal species. However, orange-bellied parrots feed on its seed during their northward migrating journey from Tasmania and Australia.
The seed oil can be used for industrial applications.
- Reader's Digest Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain. Reader's Digest. 1981. p. 50. ISBN 9780276002175.
- Davy, J.; Scott, R.; Cordazzo, C. V. (3 May 2006). "Biological flora of the British Isles: Cakile maritima Scop". Journal of Ecology. 94 (3): 695–711. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2745.2006.01131.x. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
- Ali Ghars, Mohamed; Debez, Almed; Smaoui, Abderrazzak; Zarrouk, Moktar; Grignon, Claude; Abdelly, Chedly (2008). "Variability Of Fruit And Seed-Oil Characteristics In Tunisian Accessions Of The Halophyte Cakile Maritima (Brassicaceae)". Ecophysiology of High Salinity Tolerant Plants: 55–67.
- Münir Öztürk, Yoav Waisel, M. Ajman Khan, Güven Görk (Editors) Biosaline Agriculture and Salinity Tolerance in Plants, p. 169, at Google Books
- Ksouria, Riadh; Megdiche, Wided; Debez, Ahmed; Falleh, Hanen; Grignon, Claude; Chedly, Abdelly (March–April 2007). "Salinity effects on polyphenol content and antioxidant activities in leaves of the halophyte Cakile maritima". Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. 45 (3–4): 244–249. doi:10.1016/j.plaphy.2007.02.001. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
- Taamalli, M.; D'Alessandro, A.; Marrocco, C.; Gevi, F.; Timperio, A..; Zolla, L. (April 2015). "Proteomic and metabolic profiles of Cakile maritima Scop. Sea Rocket grown in the presence of cadmium". Mol Biosyst. 11 (4): 1096–109. doi:10.1039/c4mb00567h. PMID 25639878.
- "Cakile maritima Scop. is an accepted name". 23 March 2012. theplantlist.org. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
- "Brassicaceae Cakile maritima Scop". ipni.org. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
- Allen J. Coombes The A to Z of Plant Names: A Quick Reference Guide to 4000 Garden Plants, p. 51, at Google Books
- "Taxon: Cakile maritima Scop". ars-grin.gov. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
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