Sea Lettuce: An Abundant Coastal Algae

One of the most commonly available seaweeds a forager can find is Sea Lettuce (Ulva lactuca). A member of the Ulvaceae family, sea lettuce has been used for centuries as food, medicine, and even as an additive to cosmetics. It is native to seas around the world and can be found in all temperate and […]

Spiral Wrack: The Coastal Olive

Fucus spiralis, aka Spiral Wrack or Twisted Wrack, is brown alga belonging to the Fucaceae family. As a member of this powerhouse family, it is a prized and plentiful plant for coastal foragers. Spiral wrack is native to the Atlantic shores of the UK, as well as the northeastern shores of North America. This wrack […]

Silverweed: Ancient and Enigmatic


Silverweed, also known as Goosefoot or Silvery Cinquefoil, is an edible plant surrounded by contradiction. It is claimed to be native to both North America and Asia, and no one is quite sure which is true—but it has popped up on several continents around the world. On top of that, this delectable weed has two […]

Turkish Washcloth: A Textured Seaside Treat

Mastocarpus papillatus, or Turkish Washcloth, is an edible alga that gets its name from its bumpy surface, as the scientist who discovered this undersea delight was reminded of the special washcloths found in Turkish baths. Foragers on America’s west coast will find this seaweed growing in abundance, especially in the colder waters of the Pacific […]

Beach Plum: A Coastal Key to Our Ancestry

The beach plum, Prunus maritima, is a unique fruiting shrub native to America’s northeastern shoreline. A member of the Rosaceae (rose) family, and also known as the seaside or sand plum, early settlers and Native Americans relied on the plant’s tart fruits as a late fall food source. Since it is a perennial shrub, our […]

Dulse: A Seafaring Superfood

Growing in cold coastal waters from the eastern shore of Canada to New Jersey, USA, dulse (Palmaria palmata) is a nutrient dense saltwater alga. This seaweed, also known as red seaweed and dillisk, is notable for is dark reddish hue and its unusual preferred growing place—on submerged rocks. Dulse prefers to grow in areas with […]

Trailing Wild Bean: Coastal, Coveted, and Elusive

It’s odd to think of picking beans at the beach, but that’s exactly where you’ll find Strophostyles helvola, aka trailing wild bean, amberique bean, or annual wooly bean. Trailing wild bean grows in many soil types, but it thrives in the dry, sandy soil and direct sunlight of coastal beach dunes. A legume and member […]

Bladderwrack: The Secret Skin Cream of the Sea


Coastal foraging presents more options than the animal options that come to mind like mussels and clams, and your plant intake isn’t limited to only seaweed. A member of the Fucaceae family, Bladderwrack (Genus: Fucus) is a fairly short, forking algae. Also known by names such as rockweed, black tang, bladder fucus, and rockwrack, it […]