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Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Cakile edentula (American searocket)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Cakile edentula

Cakile edentula (Bigelow) Hook.

American Searocket

Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N), GL (N), SPM (N)

Low, fleshy, branching beach plant with pale lavender flowers.

This annual, found on the ridge of wind-blown sand behind the high-tide line of beaches, gets its common name from the rocket-like shape of the seed pods. The succulent young stems and leaves have a pungent taste, somewhat like horseradish. Harper's Searocket (C. harperi), occurring from North Carolina to Florida, has much more angulate fruits. European Searocket (C. maritima), introduced from Europe and occurring along our northern beaches, has very deeply lobed leaves.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Silique
Size Notes: Up to about 32 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AK , AL , CA , CT , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OR , PA , RI , SC , VA , WA , WI
Canada: NB , NL , NS , PE
Native Distribution: Southern Labrador south along coast to Florida; local around Great Lakes (also present on Pacific Coast).
Native Habitat: Beaches.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native plants of dune erosion control in Michigan
May 30, 2008
We care for Lake Michigan dune near our home in New Buffalo and would like to provide erosion control with native species that will also enhance the beauty of the dune with long lasting flowers. The ...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Cakile edentula in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Cakile edentula in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Cakile edentula


Record Modified: 2023-03-09
Research By: TWC Staff

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