Thyme-leaved Sandwort - Arenaria serpyllifolia subsp. serpyllifolia


Low to short, prostrate or bushy, roughly hairy plant, which is much branched. Leaves oval, pointed. Flowers in a spreading cluster, white with yellowish anthers, 5 to 8 mm, petals not split ('bifid') or notched, shorter than the sepals. Flask shaped capsule with a 'neck'.  Our plants is the subspecies A. serpyllifolia subsp. serpyllifolia.

Similar Species

Arenaria leptocladus. Chickweeds and Mouse-ear Chickweeds are similar, but have split, or 'bifid' petals 

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Very similar to A leptoclados, but larger; see key in Stace for size differences.  The seed capsule is flask-shaped, with a neck.

Recording advice

A photo of the capsule must be submitted, plus a general photograph of the plant


Dry and sandy places, walls and roadsides.

When to see it

April to September.

Life History

Annual, rarely biennial.

UK Status

Widespread and fairly frequent throughout Britain, except in the extreme north.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent though not common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 118 of the 617 tetrads.

In the current checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Native, occasional

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map