A review on sarcocornia species: Ethnopharmacology, nutritional properties, phytochemistry, biological activities and propagation

Luísa Custódio, Maria João Rodrigues, Catarina G. Pereira, Viana Castañeda-Loaiza, Eliana Fernandes, Dominic Standing, Amir Neori, Muki Shpigel, Moshe Sagi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Sarcocornia A. J. Scott is a halophytic edible succulent plant belonging to the Amaranthaceae family. To date, the genus includes 28 species distributed worldwide in saline environments, usually salt marshes. Sarcocornia (Scott) is similar to Salicornia (L.), which has a recognized commercial value in morphological and taxonomical traits. Species of both genera are commonly named samphire or glassworts in Europe, and their fleshy shoots are commercialized under their traditional names. Due to their nutritional, organoleptic and medicinal properties, Sarcocornia species have a high economic potential in various biotechnology sectors. Being highly tolerant to salt, they can be cultivated in saline conditions, and dissimilar to Salicornia, they are perennial, i.e., they can be harvested year-round. Therefore, Sarcocornia species are considered promising gourmet vegetables to be explored in the context of climate change, soil and water salinization and eco-sustainability. We hereby put together and reviewed the most relevant information on Sarcocornia taxonomy, morphology, nutritional and pharmacological properties, uses in ethnomedicine, potential applications in biotechnology, and propagation strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2778
Issue number11
StatePublished - 11 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Work funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and the Portuguese National Budget (bilateral project, Portugal/Israel, PT-IL/0003/2019, and UIDB/04326/2020 project). Luísa Custódio was funded by FCT Scientific Employment Stimulus (CEECIND/00425/2017). Viana Castañeda-Loaiza and Eliana Fernandes acknowledges FCT for PhD grants with the references 2020.04541.BD and UI/BD/151301/2121, respectively.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Glassworts
  • Gourmet foods
  • Halophytes
  • Salinization
  • Salt-tolerant plants
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science


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