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Smart Fennel of the French Riviera

Smart Martitime Fennel on the French Riviera

Crithmum maritimum, also known as samphire, rock samphire, or sea fennel loves the rocky coastline between Saint-Raphael and Cannes, on the Western French Riviera. 

If you're ever on hike #4 of 26 Gorgeous Hikes on the Western Cote d'Azur, you'll see it in every little crevasse of the Esterel's emblematic red volcanic rocks.

They pick the tiniest of cracks on the best rock on the most picturesque bend in the path to grow and stare out to sea.

Smart pickle, that maritime fennel. 

The lovely Port-Cros National Park online pamphlet about plants tells us that it's forbidden to pick the plant here, but its leaves are edible. Some describe their taste as a cross between "celery and kerosene"... I find them bitter, and not anything like fennel, so I leave them alone to glow all over our seaside hiking paths.

Plants for A Future ranks them as "reasonably useful" medicinal plant as a diuretic and for digestive issues (consult a health pro before using). 

I find it an incredibly uplifting plant just to look at in its natural habitat.

Smart Martitime Fennel on the French Riviera

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