ANNUAL KNAWEL

Scleranthus annuus

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept month8oct

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8yellow
inner
inner8green
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8round
sex
sexZbisexual

The Sub-Species


There are only two sub-species, this being the main one
Scleranthus annuus ssp. annuus

8th Sept 2007, Beckfield Cross, Kingston, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
It grows in disturbed ground such as grassy heaths, arable land on open, dry sandy soils, as here.


2nd June 2007, Cridmore, Newport, IOW Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
It is a low plant, growing up to 20cm high, here much lower than that.


8th Sept 2007, Beckfield Cross, Kingston, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
These specimens, which are a little taller, are in flower.


8th Sept 2007, Beckfield Cross, Kingston, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
It has either rained here recently or more likely had a heavy overnight dew and the plants are covered in tiny water droplets, making it more difficult to delineate the numerous small flowers, which have 5 rounded petals. (The water droplets have altered the overall perception of colour here; the flowers are not pale grey-green, although they are a lighter shade of green).
The leaves are short, linear and of various lengths up to 2cm long (best seen in lower part of the frame).


2nd June 2007, Cridmore, Newport, IOW Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Here amidst the leaves of a grass. There are numberous flowers here too if you look carefully.


8th Sept 2007, Beckfield Cross, Kingston, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Both leaves (which are between 5 and 15mm long) and flowers (which are ~4mm across) are smattered all over with the foggy foggy dew.


12th July 2006, Cridmore, Newport, IOW Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The flowering stems have several small whorls of leaves with flowers with long isolated stretches between plus a larger whorl of leaves and flowers at the top. The tiny sexual organs within the flowers are on display in the topmost whorl.


2nd June 2007, Cridmore, Newport, IOW Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The flowers have 5 petals which here are not splayed out as wide as others in previous photos, but it seems they never open wider than about 100°. The petals also have a narrow translucent edge.


12th July 2006, Cridmore, Newport, IOW Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The sepal cups are also fairly long (see flower top left). At last a glimspe of the sexual organs within (or could they be the developing fruit within?) - your Author wonders if those two detached and long stigma-like white objects are styles and whether they belong to this plant(?).


11th June 2007, Cridmore, Newport, IOW Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone




The much rarer [RRR] sub-species

Scleranthus annuus ssp. polycarpos
[Sorry, no photos yet...]



Easily mistaken for : Perennial Knawal (Schleranthus perrenis) but that is very rare. Annual Knawal has sepal teeth which are acute (tapered to a point) and with translucent narrow borders and the sepals are erect when in fruit; whereas those of Perennial Knawel are blunt with pale margins which are broader and curve inwardly when in fruit. Also, Perennial Knawel consists of two subspecies, ssp. ;perennis and ssp. prostratus. which differ slightly in the size of fruit and growing stance, upright (ssp. perennis) or prostrate (ssp. prostratus).

Easily mis-identified as : Flower ()

Some similarities to : Many of the Pearlworts (Sagina) species

No relation to : The First Knawel [a religious festival at Christmas] :-)


  Scleranthus annuus  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Caryophyllaceae  

Distribution
 family8Carnation & Campion (Pink) family8Caryophyllaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Scleranthus
Scleranthus
(Knawels)

ANNUAL KNAWEL

Scleranthus annuus

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]