Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Cakile maritima
European sea-rocket

Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest in coastal counties in Washington; British Columbia to California along the coast, also along the Chesapeake Bay on the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Along marine water shorelines in sand or gravel.

Flowers: May-October

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Growth Duration: Annual, Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bees, flies, butterflies


Glabrous, fleshy annual, the stems freely-branched, decumbent at the base, 1-5 dm. tall.


Leaves alternate, 4-8 cm. long, pinnatifid, the blade oblong-ovate to oblong-oblanceolate, narrowed to a broad petiole.


Flowers in racemes 4-15 cm. long; pedicles stout, 3-7 mm. long, ascending; sepals 4, 3-4 mm. long, with a few soft hairs at the tip, soon deciduous; petals 4, nearly white to lilac, long-clawed, 8-10 mm. long; stamens 6; style none.


Siliques fleshy, 12-18 mm. long, 2-jointed, the lower segment persistent, flared into 2 prominent, horn-like lobes at the tip, the upper segment ovoid and deciduous, narrowed to a truncate beak, each segment 1-seeded or the lower segment seedless.

Accepted Name:
Cakile maritima Scop.
Publication: Fl. Carniol. ed. 2. 2: 35. 1772. 1772.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Bunias cakile L.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Cakile maritima in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Cakile maritima checklist entry

OregonFlora: Cakile maritima information

E-Flora BC: Cakile maritima atlas page

CalPhotos: Cakile maritima photos

38 photographs:
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