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Spergularia media (L.) C.Presl
Family Caryophyllaceae
Common name: Greater Sea-spurrey

Spergularia media (L.) C.Presl APNI*

Description: Perennial with thick, woody, branching rootstock. branches usually decumbent from base.

Leaves usually glabrous, flattened, acute to shortly mucronate, 10–25(-50) mm long, 0.8–2 mm wide. Stipules acuminate to shortly acute and often unevenly forked, 2.5–6 mm long, connate for more than half their length.

Inflorescence lax, glabrous or with glandular hairs. Pedicels longer than sepals. Sepals ovate-oblong, 3–4 mm long, rarely with dark purple spots at base. Petals 2.5–5.5 mm long, white, pink or lilac. Stamens mainly 9–10, with up to 10 reduced staminodes.

Capsules ovoid-oblong, usually 7–9 mm long, 1.5–3 mm longer than sepals. Seeds broadly pyriform, 0.6–1.1 mm long, rust-brown, smooth to faintly colliculate, scariously winged or rarely wingless, the wing margin entire to denticulate.


Distribution and occurrence: Relatively rare and recorded so far only from SA, NSW, Vic. and New Zealand.

A European species, adventive in Australasia in damp sites and mud flats, often in salt marshes.
NSW subdivisions: *NC
Other Australian states: *Vic.
AVH map***

There have been attempts to define various entities with S. media, resulting in description and formal recognition of several infraspecific taxa in Europe and the Mediterranean. but the lack of authenticated European material means that it is not possible for comparison with Australian material.

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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