Flowers and leaves. Photo Don Wood, Scotia Sanctuary, NSW

Plant. Photo Don Wood, Scotia Sanctuary, NSW

Common Name

Small Sandspurrey, Lesser Sandspurrey




Introduced annual forb to 20cm tall or sprawling.  Leaves opposite each other or in whorls, with membranous stipules at the base which encircle the stem.  Leaves 1.5-3.5cm long, to 1mm wide, threadlike, often fleshy, hairless, with a straight point or short bristle.  Flowers with 5 pink to white petals, single or in open raceme like groups at the tops of the stems. 

Differs from Spergularia bocconei, Spergularia brevifolia, Spergularia diandroides, Spergularia marina, and Spergularia rubra in that the petals are white to bright pink, the petal tips darker, and the flowers have 2-3 stamens, rarely more. 

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

Short description in G.M. Cunningham, WE Mulham, PL Milthorpe and J H Leigh (1981 and later printings) Plants of Western New South Wales page 306

PlantNET description: