SMOOTH RUPTUREWORT

Herniaria glabra

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept month8oct

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8green
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round
rarity
rarityZrare

2nd Sept 2017, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
A prostrate annual or biennial growing along the ground, here on a path, so it is trodden on.


2nd Sept 2017, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
It is a lime-green colour and stands out from other green plants, like grass and moss. The stems are slightly woody at the base; in the centre a brown main stem snakes about branching off at regular intervals.


2nd Sept 2017, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are very small, the flower-buds even smaller, with the flowers also being small and inconspicuous for they too are the same shade of green.


2nd Sept 2017, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
A section of the main stem complete with regular branches at the numerous internodes, which are nicked circumferentially. The leaves are oval and directly on the main stem, emerging at the same nodes as the branches off.


2nd Sept 2017, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flower buds are numerous, covering most of the newer branches. Over a dozen of them in this photo are open, but are not readily apparent because they too are green (to pale-green translucent). The leaves are the larger slightly-darker-green oval objects.


2nd Sept 2017, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The oval leaves have short hairs on the edge, especially nearer the extremity. At least 8 green flowers are open here, the smaller objects being either un-opened flower buds, or developing fruits within the nearly closed sepals.


2nd Sept 2017, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The central stems running from right to left have several whorls of leaves of various sizes emerging at the nodes in the stems. Stray moss at top right; stray parachuted seed of some other plant bottom centre. Several opened flowers.


2nd Sept 2017, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The leaves (of various sizes) with short hairs emerging on the edges nearer the ends. The flowers near the end of the stalk look damaged by walkers.


2nd Sept 2017, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flowers have 5 concolorous green petaloid sepals (sometimes translucent white) and 5 stubby filaments with cream-coloured anthers. Numerous flowers here have gone to fruit, with the white fruits being mostly obscured by the petaloid sepals, but the one top middle is almost naked.


2nd Sept 2017, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Two more open flowers, the central one having but 4 filaments and anthers rather than the normal 5 as the just opening one on the left has.


2nd Sept 2017, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The ovary of the central flower should develop into a fruit. It has two stigma atop.


2nd Sept 2017, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Developing white fruits; the two stigmas are best seen still attached to the fruit at the bottom.


2nd Sept 2017, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The developing white fruit with its two stigmas still attached. Fruits exceeding the sepals.


All three Ruptureworts are easily confusable: Smooth Rupturewort (Herniaria glabra) [fruits slightly emerging from the petaloid sepals], Hairy Rupturewort (Herniaria hirsuta) [which is covered in erect hairs] and Fringed Rupturewort (Herniaria ciliolate) [which is evergreen and strongly woody below and the fruits either not or only scarcely exceeding the petaloid sepals], the latter of which occurs as either of two sub-species ssp. ciliolata and ssp. subciliate. Of those Hairy Rupturewort is the only one which is an introduced plant, the other two are native and also a very rare [RRR].

The flowers are probably only 2 or 3mm across when fully open, the fruit, an achene, maybe just c.1mm long (your Authors guesses) and containing a single seed just 0.5-0.6mm long (Prof. Clive Stace's figure).

It is native and grows on dry sandy ground.


  Herniaria glabra  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Caryophyllaceae  

Distribution
 family8Carnation & Campion (Pink) family8Caryophyllaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Herniaria
Herniaria
(Ruptureworts)

SMOOTH RUPTUREWORT

Herniaria glabra

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]