Andreas Buben


Discovering Seafennel, the upcoming hypebeast of maritime kitchens

Sea fennel (Crithmum maritimum) is a halophyte occurring wild on maritime rocks, piers and along sandy beaches of the mediterranean and black sea. It’s also native in coastal regions of the Netherlands and south Britain. The plant was rediscovered as a gastronomic ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine. According to a study, the plant is well suited for growing it in an Aquaponic system with a saline rich nutrient solution. Increased Na Cl enhances the yield, shelf life and sensory quality of sea fennel. 


Seafennek - Crithmum maritimum - Closeup of seafennel flower Josef Gesti (2007) Crithmum maritimum, Wikimedia commons  


After the leaves of the sea fennel are washed they are cut into small pieces and added to salads for its sensory attributes. These include a salty taste, traces of celery, accompanied by a common fennel and citrus aroma. This makes the plant great for seasoning purposes. 

Medicinal properties

It is reported that fennel was used by sailors against scurvy, as for its high vitamin C content. Next to that, shoots of the plant were used to treat prostate and urinary tract inflammations, as well as digestive diseases. Furthermore, antimicrobial properties, beneficial effects against coronary heart diseases, triggered by omega 3 fatty acids, are said to be covered by sea fennel. 

Way to grow

The sea fennel likes to grow in full sun, in a dry to well drained soil. It is very tolerant to salinity stress. It can both be grown outside and in the aquaponic system. The leaves should be harvested in may.