Spergularia are salt-tolerant plants commonly known as Sand-spurrys or Sea-spurreys.
There are around 40 species (20 – 60) with 11 species seen in Australia some native but most probably naturalised.
Some seen here are very similar and there are hybrids.
They are erect to prostrate, annual or perennial herbs with taproots.
The nodes are swollen.
They may have hairs, with or without glands, on the stems, leaves and inflorescences.
The linear leaves are opposite but, when close they may appear to be whorled.
Tight clusters of leaves (fascicles with up to 4) may be absent, few or be present at most nodes.
The thin, dry, membranous stipules are up to around 1 cm long and white to pale brown.
The bases of opposing stipules are usually fused around the node.
They are lanceolate to triangular with or without a pointed tip.
The branched terminal inflorescences have a few to many stalked flowers with the terminal one opening first.
Bracts are small or absent and the flower parts are in 5’s.
The sepals, up to 1 cm long, are free or have their bases fused.
They can be ovate or lanceolate and some have glandular hairs.
The pink or white petals are up to 0.9 mm long.
There are 1 to 10 stamens and some may be staminodes.
The superior ovary has 1 locule and 3 styles.
The fruit are roughly ovoid capsules that split into valves with the tips curved outwards.
The few to many variously shaped seeds may have a wing and be smooth or have papillae.
They can be black, pale or dark brown or reddish-brown.