a European succulent plant, Crithmum maritimum, of the parsley family, having compound leaves and small, whitish flowers, growing in clefts of rock near the sea.

1535–45; earlier sampiere < Middle French (herbe de) Saint Pierre (herb of) Saint Peter Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
samphire (ˈsæmˌfaɪə)
1.  Also called: rock samphire an umbelliferous plant, Crithmum maritimum, of Eurasian coasts, having fleshy divided leaves and clusters of small greenish-white flowers
2.  golden samphire a Eurasian coastal plant, Inula crithmoides, with fleshy leaves and yellow flower heads: family Asteraceae (composites)
3.  another name for glasswort
4.  any of several other plants of coastal areas
[C16 sampiere, from French herbe de Saint Pierre Saint Peter's herb; perhaps influenced by camphirecamphor]

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Example sentences
The playas are surrounded by extensive salt flats with saltbush and samphire vegetation.
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