Information on Sea Pearlwort

Common Name: Sea Pearlwort
Scientific Name: Sagina maritima
Irish Name: Mongán mara
Family Group: Caryophyllaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Sea Pearlwort could sometimes be confused with:

Pearlwort, Procumbent,

One could easily overlook this little plant – it is quite small, very low-growing and its flowers are tiny. Only about 8 cm high, it bears 2-3mm flowers which sometimes have 4 pale green-white petals – very often none at all. There are 4 purple-green sepals which are larger than the petals (not much help if they are absent), and they grow on purplish, fleshy, branching stems. They flower between May and September, if at all. The leaves are dark green, fleshy and the tip is blunt – unlike the leaves of Procumbent Pearlwort where there is a bristle-tip at the end of the leaves. This plant grows on bare, rocky ground, shingle, wasteground by the sea and in masonry by harbours. An native annual, occasionally found in coastal habitat, it belongs to the Caryophyllaceae or Pink family. 

I found and photographed this plant at Slade, Co Wexford in August 2012 when on a BSBI Field Trip. 

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

Pearlwort, Sea
Pearlwort, Sea