The Shifting Sands.
Along the shores of the many seas that surround us, there is a vast number of plants that find life in these shifting sands.

Many of these coastal plants have a common name that can identify the area where they can be found. One such plant belongs to the Lupine family, Seashore Lupine, Lupinus littoralis.The image on the right shows how this flower creeps over the sandy shore.


The Dune Tansy, Tanacetum douglasii, one of the few flowers with four Latin names, is another plant whose name lets you know that it can endure the rigorous moods of the sandy shores.

There are numerous plants in the vetch family that are well adapted to the life by the sea, the Giant Vetch, Vicia gigantea, finds this habitat quite acceptable.
Another of the trailing plants is the Manroot, Marah oreganus. This plant is known as the wild cucumber, flowering plants in the gourd family. The stems are stout and hairy with tendrils that allow it to climb and cling to other vegetation in the area.

The leaves of this Manroot, can vary between plants and even on the same vine.

Another of the plants whose common name suggests what its favoured habitat is, is the American Sea Rocket, Cakile edentula, is a sand loving plant that thrives above the seas tide mark, although occasionally the spring tides may cover the area.
The Beach Pea. similar to the garden sweet pea and the wild perennial pea, it really likes the sandy conditions as it sprawls over the debris from the seas and other beach vegetation.

Queen Ann's Lace is a very common weedy plant although the flowers are very intricate and the leaves are used in pressed flower decorations. It is a native from europe and as the images show does very well in the dry conditions

Toadflax, Linaria vulgaris, with the other common name of Butter and Eggs, is another plant that grows in some terrible looking sites. One would suggest that only the smallest of weeds would make the effort to grow in this habitat. This plant however does very well growing to 2 feet tall and has neat looking flowers that would enhance most gardens.  

Common Gumweed, Grindelia cuneifolia, occurs in brackish coastal marshes of western North America , its striking yellow flowers, usually in large numbers on each plant makes a very impressive sight in late September and into October.

Cancer root, Orabanche Grayana, is a parasitic plants that includes Gumweed in its list of host plants. It is an annual and is very attractive when seen in full bloom before the flower heads quickly die of.
Pickleweed, Salicornia virginica, is a perennial plant with a jointed stem and insigificant flowers. It is found in salt marshes through out the world and occurs under natural conditions in wetlands. It is native to North America.
One of the other weedy type of plants that one would find in these conditions is Redroot Pigweed, Amaranthus retroflexus. It can be found in large areas when established.
This sedge growing in the sand is Carex macrocephala, the Large-headed Sedge. It does extremely well in these sandy conditions. The male and female flowers grow on separate plants.
Purple peavine, Lathyrus nevadensis, is another of those vine clinging species with tendrils to rap around other vegetation close bye. The purplish flowers making this a very attractive plant
Nodding Onion, Allium cernuum, It is a native to North America and its clusters of nodding flowers distinguishes this plant from Allium acuminatum, Hookers Onion.