Arenaria serpyllifolia   Thyme-leaved Sandwort CC DD N

Arenaria serpyllifolia whole Arenaria serpyllifolia close

This is another small Spring flowering plant which it is easy to miss or mistake for a small chickweed. I find it on sandy soils and on waste places. It is a low growing plant mostly flowering near the ground and has sepals slightly longer than the petals. The photo is misleading: the flower is only a few millimetres in diameter.

There are two sub-species of this plant: ssp serpyllifolia and the more doubtful ssp lloydii. What was a sub species: ssp leptoclados has now been raised to species rank as Arenaria leptoclados (Slender Sandwort) (Stace 2010). They are best separated using the characteristics of the seeds none of which were sufficiently mature when the photos were taken. Both ssp serpyllifolia and ssp leptoclados grow on the Great Orme.

It is found throughout the British Isles and Ireland but less frequently in northern Scotland.

L.H.S. Great Orme 5th April 2005 R.H.S. 8th May 2008

Added on 5th April 2005, updated 9th October 2008, updated 27th Feb 2010, updated Se3 25th April 2010, updated 15th May 2014

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