Information on Greater Sea-spurrey

Common Name: Greater Sea-spurrey
Scientific Name: Spergularia media
Irish Name: Cabróis mhara mhór
Family Group: Caryophyllaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Greater Sea-spurrey could sometimes be confused with:

Sea-spurrey, Lesser, Sea-spurrey, Rock, Spurrey, Sand,

This wildflower, like the other Sea-spurreys, favours saltmarshes and shingly coastal habitats.  Growing to a height of 40cm at most, it is a fleshy perennial with pale pink-mauve 5-petalled flowers (7-12mm across) which have white centres and 10 stamens (unlike Lesser Sea-Spurrey which has only up to 7).  It also differs in that in Greater Sea-spurrey, the sepals are usually shorter than the petals. The plant blooms from June to September. The leaves are opposite and linear with short points.  This is a native plant and it belongs to the Caryophyllaceae family.

I first found this plant growing in Ballyvaughan, Co Clare in 2007 and photographed it there at that time.   

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

Sea-spurrey, Greater
Sea-spurrey, Greater

I have often wondered how sea-shore plants survive when the tide covers them.  For instance, I have often seen Sea-Aster being submerged daily by high tide.  It has been suggested that the flowers close over, trapping an air bubble inside the flowerhead and thereby ensuring the pollen stays dry until the tide recedes.  I don't know if this is true.