MARSH STITCHWORT

Stellaria palustris

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

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8white
 
inner
inner8yellow
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ5
5 (10)
petals
petalsZcleft petalsZcut
 
stem
stem8round
 
stem
stem8angular
 
rarity
rarityZuncommon
 
sex
sexZbisexual
 

28th Aug 2003, place unknown Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
Marsh Stitchwort has somewhat glaucous leaves. In characteristics it is intermediate between Greater Stitchwort and Lesser Stitchwort apart from the leaves which are narrower than Greater Stitchwort and on a par with Lesser Stitchwort.


28th Aug 2003, place unknown Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
It grows in wet grasslands and even in ponds as shown here with the leaves of floating Duckweeds.


28th Aug 2003, place unknown Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The stems have a groove running lengthways making them rather angular but smooth and without hairs. The plant grows to 60cm high.


28th Aug 2003, place unknown Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
Growing amongst the darker-green (and brown) and thicker round spikes of a Rush.


28th Aug 2003, place unknown Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The leaves are narrow lanceolate and meet at the stems in opposite pairs.


28th Aug 2003, place unknown Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The flowers have 5 white petals are deeply-cleft in the shape of a 'V' which makes it look like there are 10 petals, so this makes it look less like Greater Stitchwort (where the 5 petals are cleft to only approx halfway and more like Lesser Stitchwort again which also has 5 deeply cleft petals - except that Lesser Stitchwort doesn't grow in ponds or other wet places).


28th Aug 2003, place unknown Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The petals are between slightly longer than the sepals and much longer. The flowers are between 12 and 18mm across; and are much larger than those of Lesser Stitchwort at 3 to 6mm across.


28th Aug 2003, place unknown Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The linear-lanceolate leaves are mostly longer than 15mm.


12th June 2008, the dark, dank, wet, slippery Monks Dale, Derbyshire Photo: © RWD
Withering to the fruiting stage. Sepals showing. Upper leaves much shorter than the lower leaves, but still linear-lanceolate.


12th June 2008, the dark, dank, wet, slippery Monks Dale, Derbyshire Photo: © RWD
Petals withering, central fruit containing the seeds growing. This specimen has 10 yellow anthers.


12th June 2008, the dark, dank, wet, slippery Monks Dale, Derbyshire Photo: © RWD
The lower leaves are much longer but still linear-lanceolate. They are in opposite pairs without stalks alternately at approximately right-angles to each other despite the main stem being round and not square. The ground is moist and mossy.


Easily confused with : Flower () [plants with similar names belonging to differing families]

Not to be confused with : Bog Stitchwort (Stellaria alsine) [a plant in the same genus and which, at just 40cm high, is shorter but also has deeply cleft petals and likes wet areas such as streams, ditches, depressions, wet tracks and is often found on acidic soils but has much smaller flowers].

Some similarities to : Mouse-ears such as Field Mouse-Ear (Cerastium arvense) but all those have oval leaves.

Slight resemblance to : Chickweeds such as Common Chickweed (Stellaria media) but many of these have proportionately wider leaves which are oval.


  Stellaria palustris  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Caryophyllaceae  

Distribution
 family8Carnation & Campion (Pink) family8Caryophyllaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Stellaria
Stellaria
(Stitchworts)

MARSH STITCHWORT

Stellaria palustris

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