Salty Succulents

Twice a year Ocean Beach gets super low tides which occur around the Summer and Winter Solstices.  Usually this stretch of beach by the Cliff House is under water, but the low tides allowed me to take a quick stroll.

Ocean Beach at super low tide.

Ocean Beach at super low tide.

It is cool how well succulents can adapt.  Here I found some succulents that get constant salty ocean spray, but still thrive.

Strangle little succulent.

Strangle little succulent.

Frankly, I am not familiar with this cute succulent above.  It had succulent leaves about 2-3 in long and 1/2 in wide, with 2 in pipe cleaner like flowers.

Beach Succulents.

Beach Succulents.

These marginal plants are nature’s way to keep down erosion, and also facilitate the process of creating new soil.  Plants grow and die, and capture other debris…all helping make new soil over time.

Detail of the beach succulents.

Detail of the beach succulents.

River canyon of succulents.

River canyon of succulents.

Do these succulent really love salt water?  Well, it would be better to say they are salt tolerant.  Here is the skinny on what I have figured out.  Succulents are efficient at storing water in their leaves.  When the rainy season occurs, they soak up more moisture when the salt concentrations are lower. Also, some succulents have special parts in their plant cells that help pump out salts which allow the plant to use salty water for moisture.  Are there any experts out there on this topic that can explain how it works?

Succulents getting constant waves of salt water.

Succulents getting constant waves of salt water.

Some other salt tolerant succulents include many species of Yucca, Agave, Opuntia, and Sedum…and this ice plant species above.

– Far Out Flora

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