On the 11/28/2015 walk at the (Indian River) Lagoon Greenway led by Ken Gonyo, interest abounded in the marvelous mat of sea purslane (Sesuvium portulacastrum). This native plant is related to “commercial” species of purslane with larger, showier flowers that are sold in garden center.
The purplish-pink flowers of sea purslane are smaller than a dime.
Also known as shoreline purslane, his sturdy succulent plant grows in a variety of venues, including beach dunes, salt marshes, and mosquito control dikes. It often grows to the east of stable beach dunes and is involved in the creation of new dunes and beach stabilization.
This halophyte also can be found in wet places, as shown below at the Maritime Hammock, amongst the prop and drop roots of red mangroves.
With its tolerance for a wide variety of conditions and significant salt tolerance, sea purslane makes a great ground cover.