Information on Spring Sandwort

Common Name: Spring Sandwort
Scientific Name: Minuartia verna
Irish Name: Gaineamhlus earraigh
Family Group: Caryophyllaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Spring Sandwort could sometimes be confused with:

Pearlwort, Knotted,

Delicate, pretty little perennial of the Burren and the Aran Islands, Spring Sandwort shows its starry, shining white flowers from May to September.  With its distinctive ten red/purple anthers, the five-petalled flower (7-9mm) has green sepals which are shorter than the petals.  The leaves are narrow, needle-like and straight, in whorls on slender stems.  It grows in abundance on the limestone pavements of the Burren and also is recorded as growing in counties Derry and Antrim. This is a native plant belonging to the family Caryophyllaceae.  

I first identified this plant near Ballyvaughan, Co Clare in 1979.  The photographs were taken in the Burren in 2003.  

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Sandwort, Spring
Sandwort, Spring

Spring Sandwort is known to grow on spoil from lead mines and in the UK is also known as both Leadwort and Vernal Sandwort.