A Little-Known and a Little-Consumed Natural Resource: Salicornia

  • Munir Ozturk
  • Volkan Altay
  • Nesrin Orçen
  • Ahmet Emre Yaprak
  • Gül Nilhan Tuğ
  • Aykut Güvensen


A sustainable conservation and knowledge of genetic resources from our natural wealth is very important for future research. Within this scope, Salicornia has emerged as an important cash crop halophyte for seawater irrigation, because of its high salt tolerance. It is capable of growing under hypersaline conditions and a promising resource to cultivate under extreme climatic conditions in the arid-desert regions. The fleshy Salicornia plants have been historically used for both edible and nonedible purposes. Usage of the plant as a source of soda (sodium carbonate) for glassmaking dates back to centuries. Oriental pharmacopeia reports its medicinal uses. This genus is also well known for its applications as additive in the production of glass and soap, as medicinal herbs and also in some applications as a diet for human consumption and for domestic animals. The fleshy plants are eaten as a green vegetable raw or pickled very much in the coastal belt of the Mediterranean basin and commands a high price in gourmet food markets in Europe and the USA. This review highlights the latest information about the Salicornia genus with an emphasis on its morphological features, taxonomic status, ecophysiological characteristics, cultivation, nutritional features (as human and animal food), and other economical uses.


Salicornia Alternative plant source Natural edible plant Famine food 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Munir Ozturk
    • 1
  • Volkan Altay
    • 2
  • Nesrin Orçen
    • 3
  • Ahmet Emre Yaprak
    • 4
  • Gül Nilhan Tuğ
    • 4
  • Aykut Güvensen
    • 5
  1. 1.Botany Department and Centre for Environmental StudiesEge UniversityIzmirTurkey
  2. 2.Biology Department, Faculty of Science & ArtsMustafa Kemal UniversityHatayTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Field Crops, Faculty of AgriculturalEge UniversityIzmirTurkey
  4. 4.Department of Biology, Faculty of SciencesAnkara UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  5. 5.Botany Department, Faculty of ScienceEge UniversityIzmirTurkey

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