SPRING SANDWORT

Minuartia verna

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8green
inner
inner8mauve inner8indigo
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round
rarity
rarityZuncommon

2012, Cow Green Nature Reserve, Teesdale Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Three or four colonies on an upward diagonal bottom-left to top-right. Still flowering on 22nd June.


2012, Cow Green Nature Reserve, Teesdale Photo: © Dawn Nelson
It is a mat-forming perennial reaching heights up to 15cm.


2012, Cow Green Nature Reserve, Teesdale Photo: © Dawn Nelson
You can better see the stems of those on the outer edge of the mat.


2012, Cow Green Nature Reserve, Teesdale Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The mat of leaves is dense.


2012, Cow Green Nature Reserve, Teesdale Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The sepals of various lengths on the as-yet un-opened flowers.


15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
A matt of Springwort on dry bare ground.


15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are short, numerous and linear, similar in shape to pine needles, each tipped with a bristle.


15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Many flowers are unopened. The stems are slightly hairy often downy. Linear leaves, three-veined.


15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The five sepals are white-edged and usually shorter than the petals (or equal). Flowering stems fork off in pairs amidst the whorls of leaves.


15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers white with five petals and ten or so stamens splayed out, each tipped with purple anthers. Petals are usually longer than the sepals, but sometimes equilength. The greenish centre has three stigmas. The inner sinus between the petals (the shape of the space left by any two adjacent petals) is a distinctive pointed oval and green (being your restricted view of the sepals underneath).


Easily confused with : other Sandworts.

Many similarities to : Mossy Saxifrage (Saxifraga hypnoides) but that is taller at 20cm (rather than only the 5 of Spring Sandwort), has flowers that droop in bud, has short glandular hairs, has ten stamens with yellow pollen) (rather than the 5 purple ones of Spring Sandwort).

Not to be semantically confused with : Sand Spurrey, Sand Catchfly, Sand Crocus, Sand Pansy, Sand Leek, [plants with similar names]

Easily mis-identified as : Heath Pearlwort

No relation to : Sea Sandwort [a plant with similar name belonging to the same family].

Distinctively, the SEPALS are also 3-veined (although no photograph here yet shows that aspect). The leaves also have 3 veins, but so too do some other Minuartia Sandworts: Recurved Sandwort (Minuartia recurva) and Mountain Sandwort (Minuartia rubella). Stamens number 10 or fewer and styles usually 3 (sometimes up to 5).


  Minuartia verna  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Caryophyllaceae  

Distribution
 family8Carnation & Campion (Pink) family8Caryophyllaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Minuartia
Minuartia
(Sandworts)

SPRING SANDWORT

Minuartia verna

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]