SAND SPURREY

Spergularia rubra

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8pink
inner
inner8yellow
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round
sex
sexZbisexual

5th Sept 2012, quarry, Highdown, IOW Photo: © Sharon Fox
A prostrate annual or biennial which grows to 25cm long.


23rd Aug 2016, Clee Hill, Ludlow, Shropshire. Photo: © RWD
This is the only Sea-spurrey to grow other than near the sea. The flowers are deep pink towards their extremity and only pale-pink at their centre.


23rd Aug 2016, Clee Hill, Ludlow, Shropshire. Photo: © RWD


23rd Aug 2016, Clee Hill, Ludlow, Shropshire. Photo: © RWD
Leaves in small whorls of widely-varying length up the stem.


23rd Aug 2016, Clee Hill, Ludlow, Shropshire. Photo: © RWD
It has short glandular hairs seen especially clearly on the sepals. The leaves are in several small whorls up the stem. Just beneath each whorl is a silvery and triangular stipule, which is torn at the tip - there are 5 or 6 visible in this photo.
Several as-yet unopened flower buds - they have 5 long glandular-hairy sepals.


23rd Aug 2016, Clee Hill, Ludlow, Shropshire. Photo: © RWD
Despite their visible thickness, these 4 to 25mm long, linear leaves are not fleshy. They taper to an acuminate point.


23rd Aug 2016, Clee Hill, Ludlow, Shropshire. Photo: © RWD
The flowers span between 3 and 5mm in diameter on flower stalks which are longer than the sepals. The petals are shorter than the sepals (but they are in many other Spurreys apart from Greater Sea-Spurrey (Spergularia media) where they are longer).
In the centre a developing fruit, oval and pale-green at first, atop of which are 3 whitish stigmas. Surrounding it are nominally 10 white tapering anthers bearing yellow pollen.


Spurreys should not be semantically confused with : Spurges (Euphorbiaceae species, such as Sun Spurge (Euphorbia helioscopia) ). Nor with Cockspur (Echinochloa crus-galli)

Easily mistaken for : other Sea-Spurreys apart from the fact that this is the only one that grows far removed from the sea.

For identification information see captions.

It grows in places far removed from the sea such as: sandy soils, the tops of cliffs, open ground, heathlands, gravely or waste grounds, tracks and in quarries. On dry, acidic sandy soils, never on lime throughout most of the British Isles and is often common.


  Spergularia rubra  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Caryophyllaceae  

Distribution
 family8Carnation & Campion (Pink) family8Caryophyllaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Spergularia
Spergularia
(Spurreys)

SAND SPURREY

Spergularia rubra

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]