BOG STITCHWORT

Stellaria alsine

(Formerly: Stellaria uliginosa)
Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8cream
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
petals
petalsZcleft petalsZcut
stem
stem8square

27th June 2015, Knowsley Safari Park, Prescot, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
A low lying sprawling mass occupying wettish areas. Flowers small and above the sprawl.


12th June 2009, Greenside Mines, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Grows up to 40cm in bogs and mires but not necessarily in acidic soils, it occurs throughout the UK.


12th June 2009, Greenside Mines, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Leaves are elliptical to oval like many Chickweeds, but unlike most other Stitchworts.


12th June 2009, Greenside Mines, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Most leaves sessile (without stalks), joined directly onto the stem (except for those on sterile stems which do have stalks). Flowers have 5 deeply-cleft petals.


12th June 2009, Greenside Mines, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Leaves amplexicaul.


12th June 2009, Greenside Mines, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Bracts scarious apart from a green mid-line (not shown). Stamens have lost their anthers.


12th June 2009, Greenside Mines, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Sepals shorter than petals. Petals deeply cleft, with the two halves swivelled apart by maybe 72° so as to be nearly parallel with adjacent petals. This seems to be an identifying feature not mentioned in other texts - your Author thinks that no other Stitchwort exhibits this un-mentioned characteristic. Pale-cream coloured anthers. Flower going to seed top left.


12th June 2009, Greenside Mines, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The developing fruits can just be seen within the finished flowers.


12th June 2009, Greenside Mines, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Growing in wet mud!


12th June 2009, Greenside Mines, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Stems angular, often square, with the ridges being smooth (not rough). Tips of many leaves terminated by a small dark bobble, being a pore to allow excess water out. Stems purportedly glabrous (without hairs).


27th June 2015, Knowsley Safari Park, Prescot, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
A hand held specimen, it's not really this tall!


27th June 2015, Knowsley Safari Park, Prescot, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD


27th June 2015, Knowsley Safari Park, Prescot, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Has 10 stamens with creamy pollen and three white slightly fuzzy stigmas.


27th June 2015, Knowsley Safari Park, Prescot, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Five three-veined, white-edged, long and tapered sepals but which are shorter than the petals.


27th June 2015, Knowsley Safari Park, Prescot, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
A larger specimen. Green urn-shaped ovary in centre.


Some similarities to : Marsh Stitchwort (Stellaria palustris) which also likes wet ground, but that grows in base-rich (alkaline) soils such as fens and wet lowland grassland (rather than having a preference for acidic soils). Marsh Stitchwort is slightly longer at 60cm (rather than 40cm) and has linear-lanceolate leaves (rather than elliptic/oval) and the petals are longer than the sepals (or just slightly longer) rather than shorter. Moreover, the petals, although cleaved almost to the base, are so angled as to appear as 10 evenly-spaced petals (rather than split so wide apart that adjacent petal halves almost meet).

Slight resemblance to : Water Chickweed (Myosotion aquaticum) but that is usually far bigger at 20-100cm (rather than the 5-20cm of Bog Stitchwort), grows in wettish basic soils (rather than much preferring acidic soils).

Has characters which are intermediate between Stitchworts and Chickweeds. A native perennial plant often found on acid soils in mires and bogs, in ditches or depressions, on wet tracks, or beside streams. Either decumbent or ascending. The size of the flowers is variable; in some conditions they are about a quarter the size of others!


  Stellaria alsine  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Caryophyllaceae  

Distribution
 family8Carnation & Campion (Pink) family8Caryophyllaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Stellaria
Stellaria
(Stitchworts)

BOG STITCHWORT

Stellaria alsine

(Formerly: Stellaria uliginosa)
Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]