KNOTTED PEARLWORT

Sagina nodosa

Carnation & Campion Family [Caryophyllaceae]  

month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8green
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round

23rd July 2017, roadside, Ainsdale, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Wityh many small white 5-petalled flowers. The stems and leaves are all green here.


23rd July 2017, roadside, Ainsdale, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Whereas here the stems and some of the basal leaves have turned various shades of purple, red or orange. There are gaps between the petals near the centre which allow observers to see 5 lime-green shapes. Flower stems very long and spindly with small groups of short leaves scattered along it.


23rd July 2017, roadside, Ainsdale, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The basal leaves are linear and flat on top (triangular beneath) and turn reddish with exposure to strong sunshine.


2nd July 2009, above the strandline, Southport coast, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
With five white petals on longish 'stalks' creating gaps between the 5 petals in the shape of mis-shapen lime-green diamonds - you are seeing part of the 5 sepals beneath the flower. There are supposed to be 10 anthers on Knotted Pearlwort, but differing Sagina species can have 4, 5, 8 or 10 anthers and either 4 or 5 styles.


23rd July 2017, roadside, Ainsdale, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Two as-yet two un-opened flowers cloaked by the 5 green sepals. Poking out of the top are a 5-pronged fuzzy styles and nominally 10 anthers.


2nd July 2009, above the strandline, Southport coast, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Knotted Pearlwort may be the largest-flowered Pearlwort, but the flowers are still quite small, only 5 - 10mm across. Leaves short, linear and blunt, much shorter than those of Heath Pearlwort and appearing to form 'knots' at intervals up the thin long stems. On this flower you can indeed see 10 anthers.


23rd July 2017, roadside, Ainsdale, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The tiny 'knotted' leaves in bunches up the thin long stem. The developing fruit in the centre of the flower is lime-green.


23rd July 2017, roadside, Ainsdale, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The sepals are half as long as the petals. Short opposite pairs of leaves up the stem.


23rd July 2017, roadside, Ainsdale, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Possibly the reason why you can't see 10 anthers is that 5 are fawnish and the other 5 are white.


23rd July 2017, roadside, Ainsdale, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
5 plus 5 anthers, alternately white and fawn. This flower has only 4 styles (which are hairy and curved over). The developing lime-green fruit in the centre.


2nd July 2009, above the strandline, Southport coast, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers between 5 and 10mm across, with 10 white stamens bearing white to fawnish anthers. Through the gaps in the petals 5 green shapes are seen (part of the sepals beneath).


2nd July 2009, above the strandline, Southport coast, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Stems may be reddened on one side. Five (sometimes only 4) white petals twice as long as the light-green sepals behind. Sepals half the length of the petals.


2nd July 2009, above the strandline, Southport coast, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaves in tight knot-like bundles up the stem. The whole plant barely 5cm above the ground.


23rd July 2017, roadside, Ainsdale, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The stem leaves (the basal leaves are probably half obscured by wind-blown sand).


23rd July 2017, roadside, Ainsdale, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Linear basal leaves here not buried in sand. They seem to have triangulare cross-sections like those of the non-native Dewplants (Mesembryanthemum) but they are much more robust and larger.


23rd July 2017, roadside, Ainsdale, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Stem leaves peel off the stem in pairs from a sheath. The stem thus gets thinner the more pairs of leaves peel off.


Not to be confused with: Pearly Everlasting [a plant of similar name]

Superficial resemblance to : other low flowers with five petals such as Rock Spurrey and Common Centaury which are both found near the sea but those have lilac flowers amongst the many other differences.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

This is the largest flowered Pearlwort amongst at least six others. The only other Pearlwort likely to be found on the beach is Sea Pearlwort, with Heath Pearlwort coming a far second, but Knotted Pearlwort can also grow in damp, grassy or rather bare places as well as peaty, sandy or gravelly places.


  Sagina nodosa  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Caryophyllaceae  

Distribution
 family8Pink family8Carnation family8Campion family8Caryophyllaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Sagina
Sagina
(Pearlworts)

KNOTTED PEARLWORT

Sagina nodosa

Carnation & Campion Family [Caryophyllaceae]  

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