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Spergularia marina (L.) Griseb.
Family Caryophyllaceae
Common name: Lesser Sea-spurrey

Spergularia marina (L.) Griseb. APNI*

Synonyms: Spergularia sp. A sensu Jacobs & Pickard (1981) APNI*

Description: Annual herb with spreading to ascending branches and a slender taproot.

Leaves 5–45 mm long, 1–1.5 mm wide.

Pedicels c. 4 mm long, occasionally to 8 mm long. Sepals usually 3–5 mm long, hairy. Petals pink above a whitish base, as long as or shorter than the sepals. Stamens mostly 4.

Capsule as long as or longer than the sepals; seeds dark brown to black, not winged.


Flowering: spring.

Distribution and occurrence: Southern Australia, recorded from all Australian States and Territories (excluding ACT), also New Zealand; widespread in the temperate zones of the Old and New Worlds.

Occurs on maritime cliffs, in coastal and inland salt lakes and marshes, mudflats and in sandy soils on edge of drainage channels and creek lines.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, CT, ST, CWS, SWP, NFWP, SFWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. W.A. S.A. N.T.
AVH map***

The evidence in Australia, both from its very widespread distribution in natural habitats, and collections spanning nearly 200 years, strongly supports an indigenous status.

Text by A. Doust; updated L. Murray Jan 2019
Taxon concept: L.G. Adams & J.G. West, in Walsh & Entwisle (eds) (1996); Adams, L.G., West, J.G. and Crowley, K.J. (2008) Revision of Spergularia (Caryophyllaceae) in Australia, Australian Systematic Botany, 21, 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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