Ureura/Glasswort Salicornia quinqueflora
Native. Not threatened
Also known as Beaded Samphire, it is in some respects the most identifiable of estuarine plant species. It probably inhabits every Estuary of any size in Aotearoa New Zealand and many other countries too, including parts of Australia where the succulent-like stem of the plant is a favoured food item for the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot.
At the time of writing, the biggest patch in the area is off the end of Pinewood Road, but there are numerous other patches around the Estuary. The original common name came from it’s role in the manufacture of glass. The flower is seasonal, and distinctive as shown in the illustrations. This species is seasonal, so the best time to see it is in the summer half of the year.