Information on Heath Pearlwort

Common Name: Heath Pearlwort
Scientific Name: Sagina subulata
Irish Name: Mongán móna
Family Group: Caryophyllaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


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

Pearlwort, Procumbent, Pearlwort, Sea,

This little native perennial is not widespread across Ireland, mainly found in the South-west and Connemara with just a few records showing it scattered across the north of the country. It tends to grow in dry, sandy soil, on heaths and short grass. It only grows to about 8-10cm tall, with small, white, five-petalled flowers. These are barely 4-5mm across and behind the petals, five glandular hairy sepals can be seen, about the same length as those petals. The dark-green leaves have short, bristly, pointed tips. The plant is mat-forming with some of its shoots being non-flowering, others bearing the little flowers on long, erect stems. It flowers from May to August. This flowering species belongs to the Campion and Chickweed/Caryophyllaceae family.

I found this little species growing on Dursey Island off the coast of County Cork at the end of May, 2018. It was an incredibly hot day and I had only brought a lightweight camera with me so the images are not the best.

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

Pearlwort, Heath
Pearlwort, Heath

Dursey Island is reached by cable-car and the trip itself is exciting. The island is quite hilly but well-worth an exploration. Choughs can be seen overhead quite often, I’m told – I wasn’t lucky enough to see them there that day.