Plants maritime, glabrous; rhizomes spreading. Stems simple or branched, 5–25(–50) cm. Leaf blades usually long-elliptic to ovate, sometimes lanceolate to oblanceolate, obovate, or broadly elliptic, 4–46 × 0.5–20 mm, succulent, margins often crenulate, apex acute to acuminate or apiculate. Pedicels 2–10(–26) mm. Flowers strongly honey-scented; sepals ovate, 3.5–7 mm; petals spatulate to narrowly oblanceolate, abruptly constricted toward base, 2.5–6 mm in staminate flowers, 0.8–2 mm in pistillate flowers; filaments 2.5–5 mm in staminate flowers; anthers 0.5–0.7 mm, 0.5–0.8 mm in pistillate flowers. Capsules ovoid to subglobose, 5–10 × (4.5–)5–12 mm, fleshy or chartaceous. Seeds 2–4 mm, rugulose. 2n = 66, 68, 70.
B.C., Man., N.B., N.S., N.W.T., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), Nunavut, Ont., P.E.I., Que., Yukon, Alaska, Conn., Maine, Mass., Md., N.H., N.J., N.Y., Oreg., Wash., Coastal North America, Eurasia.
Subspecies 4 (3 in the flora).
Honckenya peploides is polymorphic. A number of species and infraspecific taxa have been described from various parts of its geographical range. Recently, four subspecies of H. peploides have been recognized (A. Kurtto 2001b; V. V. Petrovsky 1971, 2000), as here; subsp. peploides occurs along European coasts. Honckenya is subdioecious (Petrovsky 1971, 2000; T. Tsukui and T. Sugawara 1992), and is pollinated largely by small bees, hover-flies, flies, and ants (Tsukui and Sugawara). The report of Honckenya (as Ammodenia) in Chile is an error based on G. Macloskie (1903–1914, vol. 1) (C. Marticorena, pers. comm.).
|1||Plants stout; stems 3-6 mm diam., ascending to weakly erect; pedicels 2-3 mm||Honckenya peploides subsp. robusta|
|1||Plants slender; stems 0.5-3 mm diam., prostrate to decumbent; pedicels 3-26 mm||> 2|
|2||Stems 10-30(-50) cm × 1-3 mm, few; internodes of main stem 8-40(-60) mm; main stem leaves widely spaced, conspicuously larger than those of lateral branches, blade elliptic-obovate to broadly elliptic or narrowly elliptic or oblanceolate, (10-)20-46 × (0.5-)10-20 mm; pedicels (3-)8-16(-26) mm||Honckenya peploides subsp. major|
|2||Stems 5-15(-21) cm × 0.5-2.5 mm, numerous; internodes of main stem 5-30 mm; main stem leaves evenly spaced, similar in size to those of lateral branches, blade elliptic or ovate to obovate, 4-20(-30) × 3-9(-18) mm; pedicels 3-10(-15) mm||Honckenya peploides subsp. diffusa|