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Spergularia levis Cambess.
Family Caryophyllaceae
Spergularia levis Cambess. APNI*

Description: Perennial with thick woody taproot. Branches usually erect from base.

Leaves obtuse, with a short mucro, in tufts at stem base, 22–80 mm long, 1–1.4 mm wide, glabrous. Stipules long-acuminate, rarely forked, connate for about 1/3 of their length.

Inflorescence dense, entirely glabrous Pedicels longer than sepals. Sepals ovate-lanceolate, 2.5–3 mm long, 3–4 mm long in fruit; basal spots absent. Petals white, 2 mm long, shorter than the sepals. Stamens usually 6–10.

Capsule ovoid, 4.5–6.6 mm long, twice as long as the sepals. Seeds broad oblique-pyriform, 0.6 mm long, dark red-brown, bluntly papillose, scariously winged, the winged margin erose-laciniate,

Flowering: spring.

Distribution and occurrence: Rare weed, known only from stockyards on railway land at Ingleburn and Minto. Native of S Amer.

Disturbed sites, railway enclosures and associated grassland paddocks.
NSW subdivisions: *CC
AVH map***

Readily distinguished from other species by its robust tap root.

Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Adams, L.G, West, J.G. & Cowley, K.J. (2009) 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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