This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol2-4", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
Few of the maritime species are preserved in seed-bearing beds, partly because no sections present themselves, and partly because the sea line in still earlier times was different, England being joined to the Continent, and most of the maritime species are of more recent date. The Common Sea Rush is no exception to this rule. This plant ranges in the N. Temperate Zone from Gothland to Turkey, N. Africa, W. Siberia, North America. In Great Britain it is absent in N. Wales from Merioneth, Carnarvon, in the Trent province from S. Lines, in the Humber province from S.E. Yorks, not occurring in Cumberland in the Lakes province, the coasts of Berwick, Haddington, Edinburgh, Forfar, Aberdeen, Banff, Main Argyll, Mid Ebudes, and not in the N. Highlands or N. Isles. Elsewhere it is general around the coast from Islay and Elgin to the English Channel. It is common in Ireland.
The Common Sea Rush is familiar to all dwellers by the sea-coast, being a regular member of the Salt-marsh formation, where it forms a continuous fringe, as it does along the sea-coast itself. It grows with other Rushes, Sedges, and Grasses, helping in places to protect the coast from incursions of the sea.
Owing to its deeply-rooted character forming a densely-matted entanglement in which sand is retained, it is used as a coast protector in Europe and America. The first Latin name refers to the use made of Rushes as ropes, on account of their stringy nature. The stem is wiry, erect, slender, with pale sheaths. The leaves are rounded and acute.
The flowers are pale, apetalous, without a corolla, in a loose cyme which is terminal, and proliferous. The involucre consists of 2 perianth-segments, which are as spiny and as long as the capsule, which is oblong-acute. The dry perianth is regular.
Photo. Messrs. Flatters & Garnctt - Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides, L.)