Lesser Sea-spurrey - Spergularia marina

Alternative names
Lesser Sand-spurrey

Low, somewhat sprawling plant. Leaves fleshy, semi-cylindrical. Almost all seeds in any given capsule do not have a broad winged border (unlike S. media). Flowers pink, white in the centre. Usually 1 to 5 stamens, no more than 8. Petals not longer than the sepals.

Similar Species

Spergularia rubra.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

See key in Stace for differences.  It is unlikely to be found very far from the salt-splash zone by a roadside.

Recording advice

A general photo of the plant in its habitat


Originally a coastal plant, it has started to spread inland alongside well salted main roads.

When to see it

May to September.

Life History

Annual or biennial.

UK Status

A localised plant, less common in Britain than S. media.

VC55 Status

Occasional but possibly increasing in Leicestershire and Rutland. It can be found from time to time near to main roads where it is tolerant of winter salting. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was not recorded.

In the current checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Alien, occasional, first record 1996

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map