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Škocjanski zatok is half-closed brackish water system. Generally shallow lagoon slowly turns from its central slightly deeper part to mudflats. The concentrations of salt in soil give excellent ecological conditions for halophyte plants, forming various plant communities.

Special characteristic of Škocjanski zatok is the reed bed in the southern part of the brackish lagoon, which differs from the normal freshwater reed bed as other wetland plants, forming the community with reed (Phragmites australis) are replaced by halophytes. It is the only habitat of seaside arrowgrass (Triglochin maritimus) in Slovenia, a rare plant of marine marshes. Also sea rush (Juncus maritimus), Cornuti plantain (Plantago cornuti) and sea aster (Aster tripolium) can be found here.


Salicornia europea

Photo: Borut Mozetič
Glassworth is a pioneering species – an annual plant without leaves and with fleshy articulated stems. Three tiny flowers are developed per each knuckle. Due to lack of nitrogen glassworth gets its beautiful red color in late summer and autumn. Glassworts stems were used in the diet because of its softness and juiciness.

Herbaceous seepweed

Suaeda maritima

Photo: Borut Mozetič
Herbaceous seepweed is an annual halophyte overgrowning the areas closest to the sea. In autumn, when it gets its characteristic purple-red color, it produces many tiny black seeds that germinate well the following year.

Sea lavender

Limonium angustifolium

Photo: Borut Mozetič
Sea lavender is a perennial halophyte growing in moist, clayish and saline ground. Multiple stems with small violet flowers grow from the leaf rosette of hard and durable leaves. The salt glands are located at the bottom of the leaf. In dry weather, excreted cubic salt crystals can be observed on the leaves.


Sarcocornia fruticosa

Photo: Josip Otopal
Froggrass is a common plant in Škocjanski zatok. This is a fleshy perennial halophyte without leaves and with woody lower parts of the stems of decumbent growth and with tiny flowers.

Sea purslane

Atriplex portulacoides

Photo: Barbara Dobrila
Sea purslane is a decumbent plant with fleshy leaves of greyish-silver color. It typically grows on drier ground and has tiny flowers. It forms rare and endangered perrenial halophyte habitat along with froggrass, sea lavender and bluish-leaved wormwood.

Sea rush

Juncus maritimus

Photo: Iztok Škornik
Sea rush is a saltmarsh plant with no particular adaptations to saline grounds. The round shoots have an air-tissue allowing buoyancy, when the plant gets flooded by the tide. In Škocjanski zatok it thrives in moist ground.