THYME-LEAVED SANDWORT

Arenaria serpyllifolia

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]

month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8pink
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round

18th May 2018, Alt rifle Range, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
It is prostrate to bushy with these one being half-erect. [There is a different purplish plant sprawling beneath on of the Thyme-leaved Sandwort plants]


18th May 2018, Alt rifle Range, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
A dense sprawling version on the left, a more upright and open one on the right.


18th May 2018, Alt rifle Range, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Leaves are broad-ovate to narrow-ovate and pointed at the end.


18th May 2018, Alt rifle Range, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD


18th May 2018, Alt rifle Range, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD


18th May 2018, Alt rifle Range, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD


23rd April 2009, Ventnor, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Identified definitively as the much more common sub-species ssp. serpyllifolia. The Alt Rifle Range specimens are also ssp. serpyllifolia.


23rd April 2009, Ventnor, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
ssp. serpyllifolia. The flowers are 3 to 5mm across.


20th April 2007, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak


20th April 2007, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The sepals are long and pointed; longer than the petals.


20th April 2007, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The petals are shorter than the sepals. There are 5 pink anthers on fairly long filaments which are all (more or less) parallel to each other and directed straight outwards. Another 5 anthers are a paler pink and follow the petals outwards. [Blamey, Fitter & Fitter in their Wild Flower book claim the anthers are yellow, but they seem to be mistaken - your Author can find no yellow-anthered examples on the internet]. The style is splits into 3 fuzzy stigmas near the top.


18th May 2018, Alt rifle Range, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The specimens from Alt Rifle Range are turning to fruit. The central lower one is the most advanced. The capsule is a curved flask-shape (the capsule has straight sides on the similar Slender Sandwort (Arenaria leptoclados) [which was once thought to be the sub-species ssp. leptoclados of Thyme-leaved Sandwort]. [There is another sub-species of Thyme-leaved Sandwort called ssp. lloydii but that is a much less common [R] scattered around dunes on the coasts of the British Isles but mainly in the South West]


Not to be semantically confused with : Sand Spurrey, Sand Catchfly, Sand Crocus, Sand Pansy, Sand Leek, nor with Thyme-leaved Speedwell, Thyme-leaved Cotoneaster, Wild Thyme nor Thyme Broomrape [plants with similar names belonging to differing families]

Easily mistaken for : : Slender Sandwort (Arenaria leptoclados) [which was once thought to be the sub-species ssp. leptoclados of Thyme-leaved Sandwort]

It is native and grows in both inland and coastal locations often on bare well-drained open grounds, especially on sand and limestone, even on walls. In coastal locations the flower clusters are more dense.


  Arenaria serpyllifolia  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Caryophyllaceae  

Distribution
 family8Carnation & Campion (Pink) family8Caryophyllaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Arenaria
Arenaria
(Sandworts)

THYME-LEAVED SANDWORT

Arenaria serpyllifolia

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]