Common Name

Lesser Sandspurrey




Annual, biennial, or short lived perennial forb, erect or occasionally sprawling. Leaves whorled, with membranous stipules at the base which encircle the stem. Leaves 0.5-4cm long, 0.3-2mm wide, more or less flattened, sticky hairy, rarely hairless, usually with a bristle at the tip, sometimes with a blunt tip or a straight point at the tip. Flowers with white to pink or mauve 5 petals, single or in few-flowered groups at the ends of the stems.

Plants with flowers with white petals cannot be differentiated from Spergularia bocconei on characters that can be seen with the naked eye. Plants with coloured petals differ from Spergularia bocconei in that the backs of the petals are coloured.

Differs from Spergularia diandra and  Spergularia diandroides  in that the petals are usually 2.5-5mm long. 

Differs from Spergularia marina in that the petals are uniform in colour.

Differs from Spergularia rubra in that there is often a dark spot at the base of the sepals, or the sepals show striations. 

Definite differentiation between the species of Spergularia depends on microscopic examination of the seeds.

Descriptions of all species of Spergularia in the key are mostly taken from:  Adams, L.G. West, J.G. & Cowley, K.J., (2008) Revision of Spergularia (Caryophyllaceae) in Australia. Australian Systematic Botany 21:251-270

PlantNET description:

Photos by AJ Brown © State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries 2013. Victorian Resources Online  Reproduced with permission.