Found this little charmer growing along the grass line on the dunes of the north coast, often near yellow sand verbena. Like the verbena, it has some succulent-like qualities.
It grows low to the ground, almost creeping along the sand. Fine, pink flowers adorn the tips, each with four small perfect petals. The flowers are about one-third the size of my pinky fingernail, for scale.
Eventually, the flowers turn into seed pods, as they often do. These pods look a bit like peas and are much larger than the flowers from whence they came. Some are nearly the size of my thumbnail. They are vibrant green.
As it turns out, there are two varieties of Searocket found in the area: European and American. Neither are native to the North Coast of Oregon. According to “Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast”, American Searocket grows in the Atlantic and Great Lake regions. European Searocket is, as it name implies, from Europe.
It also took a bit to identify this flower. I collected the specimen on July but didn’t figure it out until late August, and until a few moments ago, I was going with American Searocket — not European Searocket. The giveaway was the leaf shape.
Metz, L. (n.d.). CalPhotos: Cakile maritima; Sea Rocket. Retrieved September 05, 2016, from http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?enlarge=0000 0000 0703 0015. Close-up on image that confirmed identify.
Cakile maritima (European searocket). (n.d.). Retrieved September 05, 2016, from http://www.cal-ipc.org/ip/management/plant_profiles/Cakile_maritima.php
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