Spergularia rupicola

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaCaryophyllaceaeSpergulariaSpergularia rupicola


A perennial herb of maritime rocks and cliffs, growing in crevices, on ledges and on friable rock surfaces, sometimes in guano-enriched sites near sea-bird colonies. It also grows in short cliff-top grassland and on the masonry of piers and walls near the sea. It is indifferent to soil reaction. Lowland.



World Distribution

Oceanic Temperate element; restricted to the coast of W. Europe.

© K.J. Walker, BSBI

Broad Habitats

Supralittoral rock (does not include maritime grassland)

Light (Ellenberg): 9

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 3

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 5.2

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.1

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1105

Life form information

Height (cm): 10

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 239

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 169

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 13

Atlas Change Index: 0.3

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 (77c)
Jalas & Suominen (1983)
Malloch AJC, Okusanya OT
1979.  An experimental investigation into the ecology of some maritime cliff species I. Field observations. Journal of Ecology. 67:283-292.
Okusanya (1979a