Narrow-fruited Cornsalad - Valerianella dentata

    Description

    Low to short hairless plant, lower leaves oval, generally broadest above the middle, wavy. Upper leaves oval to lanceolate, untoothed or slightly toothed. Bracts green with narrow, membranous margins, slightly toothed. Flowers pale pink or lilac, tiny in flat topped clusters. Fruit egg shaped, flat on one surface, the calyx well developed and about the width of the fruit itself, one tooth larger than the others.

    Similar Species

    other corn-salads

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Ripe fruits are essential for identification; this plant cannot be verified from photos of the plant or flowers. 

    Calyx present in fruit (unlike V locusta and dentata); and toothed, usually with 2 or more distinct teeth. Fruit has two distinct ribs on the abaxial face delimiting an oval flat area

    Recording advice

    The fruits need to be checked and evidence provided of their details.

    Habitat

    Arable land, usually on light soils.

    When to see it

    Flowers June and July.

    Life History

    Annual.

    UK Status

    Mainly restricted to England as far north as the Tyne and even here it is local and declining. It is quite rare elsewhere in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Quite rare in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 3 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current checklist (Jeeves 2011) it is listed as Alien, archaeophyte, now scarce.

    It is on the VC55 Rare Plant Register

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map