Flowers and leaves. Australian Plant Image Index, photo: Murray Fagg, Canberra, ACT

Flowers. Photo: Don Wood, south coast, NSW

Common Name

Red Sandspurry; Sandspurry




Introduced annual, biennial, or short-lived perennial forb, sprawling, to 20cm tall.  Leaves scarsely fleshy, opposite each other, or often in whorls, with silvery membranous stipules at the base which encircle the stem.  Leaves 0.4-2.5cm long, to 1.2mm wide, flat, hairless or sticky hairy, with a bristle at the tip. Flowers with 5 pink or lilac petals, single or in few flowered open groups at the tops of the stems.

Differs from Spergularia bocconei in that the petals are uniformly pink or lilac.

Differs from Spergularia brevifolia in that the stipules are silvery and there is no dark spot at the base of the sepals.

Differs from Spergularia diandra, Spergularia diandroides, and Spergularia marina in that the tips of the leaves are drawn out into a thin bristle, and the petals are 2.5-4mm long and uniformly pink or lilac.

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

Description and photo 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: