Scurvy-grass Cochlearia officinalis
The thick, fleshy leaves of this coastal plant help it to store water in an environment where fresh water soon drains away (scurvy-grass plants found on mountains have thinner leaves and may belong to a different species). Scurvy-grass leaves are rich in vitamin C. They were once eaten, or pulped and drunk, to prevent scurvy—a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency to which sailors were prone (“grass” is Old English for any green plant).
- Profile Capparales
- Habit Biennial or perennial
- Height 4–16 in (10–40 cm)
- Habitat Coastal rocks and salt marshes
- Distribution Coasts of northern Europe and Asia and northern North America