Tiny Flowers: Red Sand-spurry

Photo of Red Sand-spurry

Red Sand-spurry (Spergularia rubra) is a tiny annual or perennial of disturbed ground. I most often notice this plant growing on the soft shoulder of roads or even in the cracks of pavement, in sandy soil that receives plenty of sunlight, where few other plants thrive. Though native to parts of Europe, Red Sand-spurry now grows on every continent, with the exception of Antarctica.

Photo of Red Sand-spurry leaves

The stems, flowers, and fruits of Red Sand-spurry are covered with short, glandular hairs, and the narrow, less than 1" long leaves are bristle-tipped. The 5-parted flowers are about 1/4" wide and have sepals slightly longer than the pink petals. As is the case with many tiny flowers, a hand lens, binoculars used in reverse, or macro photography allows for fuller appreciation of these details.

Photo of Red Sand-spurry flower and buds

P.S. Today is the official first day of summer. Happy Summer Solstice!

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