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

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map