Grove sandwort – Moehringia lateriflora

Alaska Wildflowers | White

An open flower, bud, stem, and leaves of Moehringia lateriflora, commonly known as bluntleaf sandwort or grove sandwort.

Grove sandwort

Moehringia lateriflora

Common Names

bluntleaf sandwort (ITIS, USDA)
blunt-leaf sandwort (FNA)
blunt-leaf grove sandwort (GBIF)
blunt-leaved sandwort (E-flora of BC)
grove sandwort (VASCAN, NatureServe Explorer, FNA, Pratt)

*There isn’t really any agreement on sources for common names, so I am parenthesizing which sources use each name.

Synonyms

Arenaria lateriflora
Arenaria lateriflora var. angustifolia
Arenaria lateriflora var. tayloriae
Arenaria lateriflora var. tenuicaulis

Subspecies

none

Genus: Moehringia
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Order: Caryophyllales
taxonomic hierarchy

Duration – Growth Habit

Perennial – Forb/herb



Identification and Information

Moehringia lateriflora, commonly known as bluntleaf sandwort or grove sandwort, is a small, white-flowering perennial herb that grows from an extensive network of slender rhizomes. The plants propagate through rhizomes, commonly creating dense, mat-like groupings. The stems are ascending to erect or sometimes decumbent, often branched, and 4-30 cm long. The plant lacks basal leaves. The leaves are simple, opposite, sessile or subsessile, 6-30 mm long, 5-12 mm wide and elliptic to oblong-elliptic or oblanceolate. The leaf margins are granular to minutely serrulate-ciliate (very small, forward-pointed teeth with small hairs), and the tips are typically obtuse.

The inflorescence is composed of 1-5 flowers supported by a 3-30 mm pedicel. The flowers are perfect, with 5 green sepals, often with white or lighter margins, a pointed apex, and 5 egg-shaped (ovate or obovate) white petals about twice as long as the sepals (3-6 mm long) with a rounded apex. The flowers are usually glabrous. Fruits are nearly globose capsules 3-5 mm long, and the seeds are reniform (kidney-shaped), 1 mm long.

Flowering spring-early summer.


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Uses

For information only (typically historical) – I take no responsibility for adverse effects from the use of any plant.

No traditional, medicinal, or culinary uses were found.


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Distribution and Habitat

Moehringia lateriflora is widely distributed in North America, including Alaska, most of Canada, and the northern United States (it is listed as critically imperiled in Virginia and Maryland). It’s also found throughout Siberia, northern Russia, and Finland, as well as China, Mongolia, North and South Korea, and Japan.

Its habitats include forest edges and open woods, meadows, and gravelly shores between 50-2700 m elevation.

Classification

RankScientific Name (Common Name)
KingdomPlantae (plantes, Planta, Vegetal, plants)
   SubkingdomViridiplantae (green plants)
      InfrakingdomStreptophyta (land plants)
         SuperdivisionEmbryophyta 
            DivisionTracheophyta (vascular plants, tracheophytes)
               SubdivisionSpermatophytina (spermatophytes, seed plants, phanérogames)
                  ClassMagnoliopsida 
                     SuperorderCaryophyllanae 
                        OrderCaryophyllales 
                           FamilyCaryophyllaceae (pinks, cariophyllacées)
                              GenusMoehringia L. (sandwort)
                                 SpeciesMoehringia lateriflora (L.) Fenzl (bluntleaf sandwort, blunt-leaf grove-sandwort, grove sandwort)

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References and Further Reading

Guidebook

Pratt, V. E. (1989). Field Guide to Alaskan Wildflowers: Commonly Seen Along Highways and Byways (p. 57). Alaskakrafts, inc.

Brandenburg, D. M. 2010. National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Wildflowers of North America. Sterling Publishing. (p. 193)

Classification and Taxonomy

Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). (n.d.). Moehringia lateriflora. Retrieved March 31, 2024, from https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=20017#null

Here are the APA-style citations for the sources you’ve listed, with the retrieval date of March 31, 2024:

Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). (n.d.). Moehringia lateriflora. Retrieved March 31, 2024, from https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=20017#null

GBIF. (n.d.). Moehringia lateriflora. Retrieved March 31, 2024, from https://www.gbif.org/species/3085371

Brouillet, L., et al. (n.d.). VASCAN, the Database of Vascular Plants of Canada. Moehringia lateriflora. Retrieved March 31, 2024, from https://data.canadensys.net/vascan/taxon/4332?lang=en

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service. (n.d.). Moehringia lateriflora. Retrieved March 31, 2024, from https://plants.usda.gov/home/plantProfile?symbol=MOLA6

Uses

none

Map and Distribution

GBIF. (n.d.). Moehringia lateriflora. Retrieved March 31, 2024, from https://www.gbif.org/species/3085371

NatureServe Explorer. (n.d.). Moehringia lateriflora. Retrieved March 31, 2024, from https://explorer.natureserve.org/Taxon/ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.135015/Moehringia_lateriflora

Description and Information

Flora of North America Editorial Committee. (n.d.). Moehringia lateriflora. In Flora of North America. Retrieved March 31, 2024, from http://floranorthamerica.org/Moehringia_lateriflora

E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia. (n.d.). Moehringia lateriflora. Retrieved March 31, 2024, from https://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Moehringia%20lateriflora&redblue=Both&lifeform=7

University of Alaska Fairbanks. (n.d.). Moehringia lateriflora – Atlas Page. Retrieved March 31, 2024, from https://ecologicalatlas.uaf.edu/index.php/browse-plant-species/atlas-page/?nps_id=1251

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