Naturalist’s Notebook: How Salt Marsh Plants Cope With All the Salt

October 17, 2023
Meet the Salt Marsh 3: Too salty? Salt kills plants by sucking water from their tissues. But these plants have amazing adaptations that help them survive and thrive in high salt.
Salt grass and cordgrass excrete salt from their leaves. Lick a leaf and taste the salt!
But pickleweed has another trick! It concentrates salt into vacuoles at the tips of its branches. When the tips are full of salt, they turn red and the plant sheds them.
About the Authors

Kate Golden is Bay Nature's digital editor. Her background is in investigative, data-driven, and science journalism, and she has reported from rural Australia to the Bering Sea. She is also an artist, cyclist and sailor. Send tips to kate at, or find her on IG at @meownderthal.

Naturalist and illustrator John Muir Laws is the author of the Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada and Sierra Birds: A Hiker's Guide. Learn more and find class schedules at

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