The southern and eastern borders of the Longis Reserve are made up of coastal and intertidal habitat. Here you will find plants which have adapted to survive in these specialized conditions including: salt spray, dry very sandy soil - or even just sand - and shifting sand-dunes. Certain plants, such as marram grass, couch grass and sand sedge, play an important role as their roots help to bind and stabilize the dunes.
Many of these coastal plants have a very deep taproot which can penetrate beneath the dry salty surface to where there is less salty moisture below. Another advantage of a deep root is that even if the plant is covered by sand during storms and high seas, it can still eventually force its way up to the surface.
Sea holly is one of these plants with a deep tap root. It also has a waxy covering to its leaves which helps to reduce water loss, and the blue-green colour of the leaves reflects the heat of the sun better than plain green leaves.
As well as having a deep tap root, both sea kale and yellow-horned poppy have wavy or crinkly leaves which means that some part of the leaf is always in shade.
The yellow-horned poppy has four beautiful silky yellow petals which quickly drop, but the plant produces a new flower each day from the long curved seed pods which develop. Its leaves are covered by fine short hairs which help to protect the leaf surface from the salty conditions in which it lives.