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Mertensia maritima - (L.)S.F.Gray.

Common Name Oyster Plant
Family Boraginaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Shingle by the sea[17]. Uncommon and declining[200].
Range Throughout the temperate regions of both hemispheres, including Britain.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Mertensia maritima Oyster Plant


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Mertensia maritima Oyster Plant
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Mertensia maritima is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects? Self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Synonyms

Pulmonaria maritima.

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw or cooked[172, 183]. They are said to taste of oysters[5]. No-one has yet noticed a resemblance to oysters though not many of the tasters have ever eaten oysters! The flavour is fairly bland, the leaf is thick and has a very mucilaginous texture - it is probably this texture that reminds people of oysters[K]. Root[22, 46, 61, 105]. Eaten by the Inuit of Alaska[183, 257]. Flowers - raw[172].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Thrives in nutritionally poor sandy or gravelly soils in a sunny position[200]. Requires a very well-drained soil[188]. Dislikes shade[233]. Plants are resentful of root disturbance and should be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible[200]. This species is not very easy to cultivate[1]. Plants are very susceptible to slug damage[188, K]

Propagation

Seed - sow as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Spring sown seed is also successful[K]. Germination usually takes place within a month. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in April or early September. With care since the plant resents root disturbance.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Mertensia bellaBeautiful bluebells10
Mertensia ciliataMountain Bell, Tall fringed bluebells11
Mertensia longifloraSmall bluebells10
Mertensia oblongifoliaOblongleaf bluebells10
Mertensia paniculataTall bluebells, Alaska tall bluebells, Northern bluebells, Eastwood's bluebells10
Saxifraga mertensianaWood saxifrage10
Tsuga mertensianaMountain Hemlock12

 

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Expert comment

Author

(L.)S.F.Gray.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

DANIEL   Sat Apr 18 2009

Comment fait on germer Mertensia Maritima. Il paraît que c'est très dificille. J'aimerais pouvoir le réaliser.

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Subject : Mertensia maritima  
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