Spergularia rubra

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaCaryophyllaceaeSpergulariaSpergularia rubra


An annual or biennial herb, typically occurring in open habitats on free-draining acidic sands and gravels. Habitats include heaths, commons, tracks (particularly forestry tracks in W. Scotland), quarries, gravel- and sand-pits, railway yards and waste ground. It occasionally grows on stabilised shingle and sand dunes. It is tolerant of trampling. Generally lowland, but recorded at over 560 m on Deadwater Fell (S. Northumb.).



World Distribution

European Southern-temperate element; also in N. America and widely naturalised outside its native range.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 3

Reaction (Ellenberg): 4

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.9

Annual Precipitation (mm): 983

Life form information

Height (cm): 15

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: 1363

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 66

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 13

Atlas Change Index: 0.05

Weighted Changed Factor: 47

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 (77a)
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1983)