American Searocket – Cakile edentula 

A close cousin of European Searocket, American Searocket also grows here on the North Coast. In fact, the two Searockets have been a bit haunting this summer becuase here similar, but just different enough.

The first one I identified was European Searocket, but for a few weeks I was going with American Searocket. Once again, the leaves were the differentiating feature. Cakile edentula has thicker leaves that are more oblong with random lobes.

American Searocket - Cakile edentula leaf close up
Today, I found both growing together and finally feel confident in my identification of American Searocket. Check out its seed pods.
American Searocket - Cakile edentula seed pod close up
In the image below, the right side is dominated by European Searocket, while the left side is dominated by American Searocket. Note the difference between the leaves and the thickness of the stalks. American is thicker — typical. 🙂

Between the two, European Searocket seems more willing to flower, but American Searocket seems “happier” in the sand. 

American Searocket - Cakile edentula and  European Searocket - Cakile maratima side by side
I’ve been watching this cluster, which is near the 12th street beach entrance over the last two months, patiently waiting for the eureka moment I had today.


Pojar, J., MacKinnon, A., & Alaback, P. B. (1994). Revised Plants of the Pacific Northwest coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska. Redmond, WA: Lone Pine Pub. Page 153


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