This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
1899. S. europaea prostrata Fernald, Rhodora 9: 206. 1907.
Annual, 6'-2° tall, stem usually erect, much branched, the branches slender, ascending, spreading or nearly upright, their joints 2-4 times as long as thick. Scales acute or rather obtuse, 1" long or less, broadly ovate or wider than long; fruiting spikes 1'-3' long, about 1 1/2" in diameter; middle flower of the 3 at each joint twice as high as the lateral ones, reaching nearly or quite to the top of the joint; utricle pubescent.
In salt marshes, Anticosti to Georgia; about salt springs in central New York; in saline soil from Manitoba to British Columbia, south to Kansas and Utah. Also in Europe and Asia. The plant often turns bright red in autumn, forming vividly colored areas, hence called Marsh-samphire. Frog-, crab- or sea-grass. Pickle-plant. Saltwort. English sea-grass. Chickens'-toes. July-Sept.
Salicornia mucronata Bigel. Fl. Bost. Ed. 2, 2.
1824. Not Lag. 1817. Salicornia virginica Moq. in DC. Prodr. 132: 145.
1849. Not. L. 1753. Salicornia Bigelovii Torr. Bot. Mex. Bound. Surv.
Annual, stem and branches stout, erect or nearly so, 2'-12' tall. Scales ovate or triangular-ovate, sharply mucronate, 1"-1 1/2" long, at length spreading; fruiting spikes 1/2'-2 1/2' long, 2"-3" in diameter, their joints not longer than thick; middle flower slightly higher than the lateral ones, reaching very nearly to the end of the joint; utricle pubescent.
In salt marshes. Nova Scotia to Florida and Texas. Also in the Bahamas, Cuba, Porto Rico and on the Pacific Coast. Plant bright red in autumn. July-Sept.
Salicornia ambigua Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 1: 2. 1803.
Perennial by a woody rootstock, stem trailing or decumbent, 6'-2° long, the branches ascending or erect, slender, nearly or quite simple, rather long-jointed, 3'-8' long. Scales broadly ovate or wider than high, acute or obtuse, appressed or slightly divergent; fruiting spikes 1/2'-1 1/2' long, about 2" in diameter, their joints not longer than thick; flowers all about equally high and about equalling the joints.