Scattered about our countryside on heaths, damp dunes and mountain habitats, on both acid and lime soils, this small wildflower is a delight to find. From July to October, this wiry perennial stands about 12 cm high, bearing white, starry, five-petalled flowers (10 mm), the petals being twice as long as the sepals. Tufts of small, lanceolate leaves are arranged at intervals around the delicate, upright stems and if you gently run your fingers along them, the stems can feel as if they are ’knotted’. Sometimes confused with Spring Sandwort, it is distinguished by the ‘knotted’ stem and by having five styles whereas Spring Sandwort has only three. This is a native species belonging to the Caryophyllaceae family.
I first recorded and photographed this wildflower growing beside a spring-fed stream on a hillside near Slieve Carron, County Clare in 2010.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre