American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. See glasswort.
- n. An Old World coastal plant (Crithmum maritimum) having fleshy compound leaves and small white flowers grouped in compound umbels.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A succulent umbelliferous herb, Crithmum maritimum, growing in clefts of rocks close to the sea in western Europe and through the Mediterranean region. The young leaves are highly esteemed for making pickles. Various other maritime plants are named from it. In America Salicornia is sometimes so called.
- n. Borrichia arborescens, a maritime shrub of the West Indies.
- n. One of several edible plants growing near the sea, including the rock samphire.
- n. Glasswort, the plant once burned to produce the ash used to make soda glass.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A fleshy, suffrutescent, umbelliferous European plant (Crithmum maritimum). It grows among rocks and on cliffs along the seacoast, and is used for pickles.
- n. The species of glasswort (Salicornia herbacea); -- called in England
- n. A seashore shrub (Borrichia arborescens) of the West Indies.
- n. fleshy maritime plant having fleshy stems with rudimentary scalelike leaves and small spikes of minute flowers; formerly used in making glass
- Originally sampiere, from French Saint Pierre, the patron saint of fishermen who often harvested the plant. (Wiktionary)
- Alteration of French herbe de Saint Pierre, from Saint Pierre, Saint Peter. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Usually served in restaurants under the name samphire, or sea asparagus, salicornia is often served in salads or with seafood (or in England as a side dish, with a little butter and vinegar).”
“Also he ate a little of the bread he had brought with him; and with it some of a brisk juicy herb, called samphire, that sprouted richly in the cliff, which gave his meat an aromatic savour; and with a drink of fresh spring water he dined well, and was content; then he climbed within the cave, and fell asleep to the sound of the wind buffeting in the cliff, and the fall of great waves on the sea beaches.”
“The spontaneous appearance of a forest of oaks on the eastern shores of Asia was just as probable, under favoring conditions -- though occurring subsequently to the time of their appearance on this continent -- as that of the miniature forests of "samphire," or small saline plants, which spontaneously made their appearance about the salt-works of Syracuse, when conditions actually favored.”
“Don't say 'larks!'" implored Amy, as a return snub for the 'samphire' correction.”
“Sailing and fishing trips can be organised, but the emphasis is on simple pleasures: beachcombing, foraging for berries and samphire, swimming, birdwatching and nature walks.”
“He held up a jar of dark green pickled samphire leaves: hashishet albahar, hashish-of-the-sea.”
“And just last week I made an abalone dish with sea beans samphire, salicornia -- the plant has many names and New Zealand spinach I'd foraged within yards of the shore.”
“Maybe it's just me, but I don't know what 'samphire' is.”
“And then re-introduced to it on the half shell, glazed with a thermidor sauce, decorated with crisp, salty sprigs of samphire, all of which makes you want to lick the shell clean, to dig your tongue into every nook and cranny.”
“We'd go cockling, too, and pick up samphire when it was in season.”
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