Spergularia marina

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaCaryophyllaceaeSpergulariaSpergularia marina


An annual of saltmarshes, sea-walls, muddy shingle, brackish grazing pastures and the base of coastal cliffs. Inland, it is a local colonist of the margins of saline sludge lagoons, and also occurs beside salt-treated roads. Generally lowland, but reaching 520 m on a roadside at Holme Moss (Cheshire).



World Distribution

Circumpolar Southern-temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.

© P. Shannon

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 8

Reaction (Ellenberg): 8

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 6


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 5

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 4.3

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.6

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1094

Life form information

Height (cm): 10

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Therophyte (annual land plant)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 680

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 185

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 8

Atlas Change Index: 1.83

Weighted Changed Factor: 72

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (78a)
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1983)
Lee JA
1977.  The vegetation of British inland salt marshes. Journal of Ecology. 65:673-698.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Scott NE
1985.  The updated distribution of maritime species on British roadsides. Watsonia. 15:381-386.
Scott NE, Davison AW
1982.  De-icing salt and the invasion of road verges by maritime plants. Watsonia. 14:41-52.