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Spergularia brevifolia (Bartl.) Walp.
Family Caryophyllaceae
Common name: Lesser Sea-spurrey

Spergularia brevifolia (Bartl.) Walp. APNI*

Synonyms: Spergularia moorei L.G.Adams ined. APNI*
Spergularia sp. 3 (of 1996 Flora of Vic 2: 260-261) APNI*

Description: Annual, biennial or short-lived perennial with slender to ± woody, branching rootstock. Branches erect or occasionally decumbent from base.

Leaves ± flattened, usually prominently caudate, sometimes obtuse to mucronate, 5–20 sometimes up to 40 mm long, 0.3–2 mm wide, at least the upper surface ± glandular-hairy, rarely all glabrous. Stipules acute to long-acuminate or sometimes furcate, 3–8 mm long, free or connate for much less than half their length.

Inflorescence few-flowered, with sparse to dense glandular hairs 0.1–0.2 mm long. Pedicels from equal length to much longer than sepals. Sepals ovate to lanceolate, 2–5 mm long (mostly 3.5–5 mm long in fruit); base often with dark purple spots or marginal striae. Petals 2.5–5 mm long, equal to or much shorter than sepals, white to pink or lilac. Stamens 6–8 sometimes less. Capsules narrow-ovoid to subglobose, 3–6 mm long, usually distinctly longer than sepals.

Capsules narrow-ovoid to subglobose, 3–6 mm long, usually distinctly 0.5–1 mm longer than sepals. Seeds broadly pyriform to broadly oblique-pyriform, mostly 0.5–0.6 mm long, very dark grey-brown to jet-black, rarely olive- or golden-brown, metallic-iridescent, coarsely blunt-papillose, tuberculate or rarely ± smooth, wingless or rarely with vestigial wing.

Photo J. R. Hosking

Photo J. R. Hosking

Distribution and occurrence: Recorded from southern Australia, particularly widespread in the Murray–Darling Basin.

Occurring in sandy, clay and loamy soils, on clay and river flats and inland drainage systems of eucalypt woodlands and open shrublands.
NSW subdivisions: CC, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, NWP, SWP, NFWP, SFWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. W.A.
AVH map***

Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Adams, L.G., West, J.G. and Crowley, K.J. (2008) Revision of Spergularia (Caryophyllaceae) in Australia. Australian Systematic Botany 21(4) 251-270.

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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