Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various plants of the genus Salicornia, growing in salt marshes and having fleshy stems and rudimentary, scalelike leaves. Also called samphire.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The plant of the genus Salicornia, once burned to produce the ash used to make soda glass.
  • n. Any of the edible plants called samphire.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A seashore plant of the Spinach family (Salicornia herbacea), with succulent jointed stems; also, a prickly plant of the same family (Salsola Kali), both formerly burned for the sake of the ashes, which yield soda for making glass and soap.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A plant of the chenopodiaceous genus Salicornia, succulent saline plants with leafless jointed stems and containing a large proportion of soda.
  • n. About 6 species of glasswort (Salicornia) are now said to be found in North America, inhabiting mainly the salt-marshes of the coast, but sometimes (the same or different species) growing on saline ground inland. S. herbacea, the slender or jointed glasswort or marsh-samphire (also called pickle-plant), together with S. Bigelovii, turns a vivid red in autumn, becoming very showy on the Atlantic coast, while S. ambigua, the woody glasswort (also called pickle-weed), presents a diversity of brilliant color jn the Pacific salt-marshes.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. bushy plant of Old World salt marshes and sea beaches having prickly leaves; burned to produce a crude soda ash
  • n. fleshy maritime plant having fleshy stems with rudimentary scalelike leaves and small spikes of minute flowers; formerly used in making glass

Etymologies

From its former use in making glass.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
glass +‎ wort (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "Then ask him if he wouldn't happen to have some glasswort, and if not than percebes, or goose barnacles, those little crustaceans like the ones you find in Galicia and the Madrilenian markets."
    My Beautiful Bus by Jacques Jouet, translated by Eric Lamb, p 45

    May 22, 2013