Spergula arvensis L. - Corn Spurry

Spergula arvensis plant

Family - Caryophyllaceae

Stems:

Spergula arvensis stem

Leaves:

Spergula arvensis leaves

Inflorescence:

N/A

Flowers:

Spergula arvensis flower

Spergula arvensis calyxCalyx.

Flowering - January - March.

Habitat - Disturbed sites, cultivated fields.

Origin - Native to Europe.

Other information - This weedy but interesting species has only been reported in about 3 Alabama counties but is probably much more common. The plant flowers very early in the year and wilts and dies quickly. The plant can be identified by its ascending stems, whorled, thin leaves, and glandular-pubescent pedicels.
The genus name Spergula is from the old Latin "spargere" meaning "to scatter" referring to the sowing of the seeds to produce quick-growing cover crop. The New Latin root "sperg" has the same meaning.
The species epithet arvensis derives from the Latin "arv(ens)" meaning "a (cultivated) field."

Alabama Distribution:

Spergula arvensis map

Photographs taken at Auburn University, AL., 2-19-05.


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