In the same family (Chenopodiaceae as beets, spinach, and chard, lambs quarter, huazontle, etc. The leaves and the seeds of this native succulent have long been harvested as food. Birds love the seeds too, It is native to sand dunes and salt marshes from Maine to Texas. It also native to PA. They thrive in (but do not require) salt water and salt wind. Helping to stabilize the sea shore, they reduce erosion. Many members of this Chenopodiaceae serve as larval hosts to butterflies. This species should be evaluated in butterfly gardens too.
Check this link for photo and edibility information. http://www.eattheweeds.com/suaeda-linearis-maritima-edible-blite-2/
This species is sometimes called “Annual Seepweed”. We propagated our plants from an ancient-looking specimen that was growing in the 2′ wide gravel trough between the boat ramp and the floating dock at the Sams Point Boat Landing, Beaufort County, SC. It was very distinct from the other specimens of this species that I have seen. Many years old, Its trunk was over 1″ thick. It was knee-high and multibranched. I had admired its gracefulness and tenacity for a long time. I had been planning on propagating it some time. One morning when I went to swim, I saw it had been crushed by boat trailer and/or truck tires over this natural bonsai. I dug it out of the gravel and took it back to the nursery. We propagated the plants that we are selling from that crushed mother plant. Outdoor lights at the landing may have altered the growth pattern of the mother plant. This is the first year that we have grown this species. I do not know of anyone else growing it before. Time will tell whether it will be perennial in other conditions. Plants are flowering and fruiting now (Sept-Oct 2018). Plant them where salinity cause bare patches of ground. Do not mulch them and you should be blessed with seedlings.
A customer in Texas shared reports demonstrating that planting Suaeda sps. can help desalinize soild and will be testing it in her garden. We are always grateful when people teach us things about the plants that we are growing.