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Blite, Annual Sea

Botanical: Suaeda maritima


Suaeda maritima (Linn.), the Annual Sea-Blite, is our other British species and is common on muddy seashores. It is a low straggling plant, smooth, glaucous and reddish in winter, with slender branches rising 1 to 2 feet; acute, semi-cylindrical, short fleshy leaves; flowers, 1 to 5 together, styles two. It is in flower from July to October.
Culpepper tells us there are
'two sorts, the white and the red. The white hath leaves somewhat like unto beets but smaller, rounder and of a whitish-green colour. The red is in all things like the white, but that its leaves and tufted heads are exceedingly red at first and after turn more purplish.... They are all of them cooling, drying and binding and useful in fluxes of blood, especially the red.'
He also mentions
'another sort of wild Blites, like the other wild kinds, but having long and spiky heads of greenish seeds, seeming by the thick setting together to be all seed. This sort fishes are delighted with, and it is a good and usual bait, for fishes will bite fast enough at them, if you have but wit enough to catch them when they bite.'
The name Blite has also been applied to several of the Chenopodiums.

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Bear in mind "A Modern Herbal" was written with the conventional wisdom of the early 1900's. This should be taken into account as some of the information may now be considered inaccurate, or not in accordance with modern medicine.

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