Scurvy grass
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Richard Asplen
Posted on: September 16, 2000

We are interested in possibly ordering scurvy grass seed. Could you tell us whether it would grow well in heavily salted pasture along the Chesapeake Bay in the USA mid atlantic region? Could it cause any problems to native flora? Are there any governmental restrictions on its use? Thank you in advance. We have ordered your catalogue in anticipation.

We are not sure how salt tolerant scurvygrass (Cochlearia officinalis) is. Margaret Grieve says in her book "A Modern Herbal" (available free on the Richters website in the "Richters InfoCentre" area):

"Abundant on the shores in Scotland, growing inland along some of its rivers and Highland mountains and not uncommon in stony, muddy and sandy soils in England and Ireland, also in the Arctic Circle, sea-coasts of Northern and Western Europe and to high elevations in the great European mountain chains."

This suggests that it is salt tolerant, but that’s is only a suggestion. Certainly, it does not need salt to grow, for it grows very well in ordinary potting soil.

The authoritative reference book, "A Geographical Atlas of World Weeds" (L Holm, et. al, Wiley-Interscience, 1979), does not list it at all, so it does not appear to be regarded as weedy, even though Grieve describes it as abundant in Scotland. Of course, this indicates nothing about how scurvygrass will behave in your area. But till now, we have received no reports from our customers of any extraordinary weedy behaviour.

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