Corn Spurrey - Spergula arvensis


Short to medium straggly scrambling plant to 30 cm with stems stickily hairy above. Leaves linear, fleshy and channelled beneath, arranged in clusters at the swollen joints of the stem, and appearing as if in whorls. Flowers 4 to 8 mm, white with 5 unnotched petals, the petals slightly longer than the sepals. The flowers only open in the afternoon.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Glandular hairy, with long linear leaves

Recording advice

A general photo of the plant in its habitat


Arable land and bare ground.

When to see it

May to September.

Life History


UK Status

Once fairly frequent throughout Britain but decreasing.

VC55 Status

Occasional and declining - may be nearly scarce in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 164 of the 617 tetrads

In the current checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Native; present status uncertain, but much less frequent than formerly.

It is on the Rare Plant Register

be our species champion

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map