7. Shrubby Glasswort (Tecticornia arbuscula)
Shrubby glasswort is appropriately named as it is a shrub that grows up to 2 metres in height. While it looks similar to the low-growing beaded glasswort (no. 2 in this series of saltmarsh plants), this species can be readily distinguished by its shrubby habit.
The branches are brown with green or reddish branchlets. The individual segments grow up 1 cm long , branching out at each junction. A slice through a branchlet shows the fleshy, succulent nature of the plant that enables it to store water. Very tiny white male and female flowers are produced at the end of the stems in the spring and summer.
It is very salt tolerant, like the other glassworts, and can be seen growing in thick bushes along the boardwalk at Jawbone Reserve.
If you are lucky you may see a white fronted chat (Epthianura albifrons) perched on top of the shrub. These birds frequent saltmarsh areas looking for insects.