Open the Advanced Search

Golden Samphire

Inula crithmoides

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Treasureflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White African Daisy, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
1 metre tall
Rocky places, saltmarshes, sea cliffs, seaside.

Yellow, many petals
Golden yellow flowers in loose clusters. Each flower measures up to 25mm across.
A white pappus. In fruit in August and September.
A perennial coastal plant with succulent, fleshy leaves. The linear-shaped leaves go alternate up their stems. Fleshy leaves are unusual for daisy-type flowers. Golden Samphire grows in similar habitats to Rock Samphire (Crithmum maritimum) but they don't look alike.
Other Names:
Golden Drop, Rock Samphire, Sea Samphire.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Inula crithmoides, also known as Golden samphire or rock samphire, is a perennial herb that grows in rocky coastal areas in Europe and Asia. It is known for its yellow, daisy-like flowers and its leaves, which have a slightly bitter taste. The plant has traditionally been used in herbal medicine to treat a variety of ailments, such as digestive disorders and respiratory problems. It is also used in perfumery as a fixative and as a honey plant. In some areas, the over-harvesting of Inula crithmoides has led to declines in population and it is now considered a protected species.


Golden Samphire, or Inula crithmoides, is a wild edible plant commonly found in coastal regions of Europe, Asia, and Africa. It is a member of the Asteraceae family and is sometimes also called Sea Samphire, Rock Samphire, or Golden Drop.

Golden Samphire is a hardy plant that can grow in sandy or rocky soils and is often found on cliffs or in salt marshes near the sea. It has a fleshy stem and green leaves that are thick and succulent, and it produces small, yellow flowers in late summer.

This plant has been used for centuries as a food and medicine by various cultures. In the past, it was often used as a preventative measure against scurvy, a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C, due to its high vitamin C content. Today, it is still enjoyed as a tasty and nutritious vegetable.

The leaves and young stems of Golden Samphire are edible and have a distinctive, slightly salty taste that is often compared to that of asparagus or sea beans. They can be eaten raw in salads, pickled, boiled or steamed and served as a side dish, or used in a variety of other culinary applications.

In addition to its use as a food, Golden Samphire has been used in traditional medicine to treat a range of ailments, from digestive issues to skin problems. Some research has also suggested that it may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

As with all wild plants, it is important to be cautious when foraging for Golden Samphire, as some plants may be contaminated with pollutants from the sea or nearby industrial sites. It is always best to seek out a reliable source or expert advice before consuming any wild plants.

Golden Samphire is a versatile and nutritious plant that has been enjoyed for centuries as a food and medicine. Its distinctive flavor and unique growing conditions make it a special and prized ingredient for those who have the chance to try it.

Golden Samphire is an important component of coastal ecosystems, as it helps to stabilize soil and prevent erosion, and provides a habitat and food source for various animals and insects. It is also an important indicator of the health of salt marshes and other coastal environments, as changes in its population or growth patterns can signify environmental changes or disturbances.

In some regions, Golden Samphire has been overharvested or threatened by development and habitat destruction. However, efforts are being made to protect and conserve this plant, including through sustainable foraging practices and the establishment of protected areas and conservation initiatives.

In addition to its culinary and medicinal uses, Golden Samphire has also been used in folklore and mythology. In ancient Greece, it was believed to have medicinal properties and was used as an offering to the gods. In England, it was once considered a delicacy and was highly sought after, leading to a rise in demand and an increase in its price.

Overall, Golden Samphire is a fascinating and important plant that has played a significant role in human history and continues to be an important part of many coastal ecosystems and cultures today.

Golden Samphire is a plant that has been used in various culinary traditions for centuries. In the Mediterranean region, it is a popular ingredient in salads, soups, and stews, and is often paired with fish or seafood dishes. In Spain, it is known as "hinojo marino" and is used in a traditional dish called "esgarraet", which combines the plant with roasted red peppers and garlic.

In France, Golden Samphire is called "crithmum" and is used in various dishes, such as omelets, fish soups, and with roasted meats. In Italy, it is known as "paccasassi" and is often pickled and used as a condiment or served with cheese and cured meats.

In addition to its culinary uses, Golden Samphire has also been used in traditional medicine to treat a range of ailments. In ancient Greece, it was used to treat digestive issues, while in traditional Chinese medicine, it was used to treat liver and gallbladder disorders.

Today, Golden Samphire is still used in some herbal remedies and supplements, and some studies have suggested that it may have potential health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, boosting immune function, and protecting against certain types of cancer. However, more research is needed to fully understand its potential health benefits and risks.

Overall, Golden Samphire is a versatile and fascinating plant that has played a significant role in human history and continues to be an important part of many culinary and medicinal traditions today. Its unique flavor and nutritional benefits make it a special and valuable ingredient for those who have the chance to try it.

Golden Samphire is also an excellent source of various vitamins and minerals. It is particularly high in vitamin C, which plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy immune system, as well as in collagen production and wound healing. It is also a good source of vitamin A, which is important for vision and skin health, and of minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

Due to its unique growing conditions, Golden Samphire is also a sustainable crop that can be grown in harsh environments where other plants may struggle. It can be used in saltwater aquaponic systems, where it can absorb nutrients and purify water, and can be used as a food source for fish and other aquatic animals.

In addition to its culinary and medicinal uses, Golden Samphire has also been used in cosmetics and skincare products. Its high vitamin C content and antioxidant properties make it a popular ingredient in anti-aging products and skincare treatments, and it is believed to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as to improve skin texture and tone.

In conclusion, Golden Samphire is a fascinating and versatile plant with a long history of culinary and medicinal use. Its unique flavor, nutritional benefits, and potential health properties make it a valuable ingredient for chefs, herbalists, and skincare professionals alike. As a sustainable and hardy crop, it also has the potential to play an important role in aquaculture and sustainable agriculture practices.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map