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Greater Sea-Spurrey

To be found only in the salt marshes, and drier ones at that, around the coasts and islands of Scotland. Being a salt-lover, Greater Sea-Spurrey can also grow along road sides that are regularly salted in winter.

It has many hairless stems, low-growing, turning or angled upwards, and needle-like, slightly fleshy leaves which grow in pairs on opposite sides of the stem, up to 25mm long. The leaf ends taper and can be blunt or sharp. Leaf stalks are absent.

The flowers are often pink, sometimes with a whitish tinge, up to 12mm across, and with 5 equal petals. 3 to 5 flowers grow on widely branched stem heads. Sepals are only slightly shorter than petals and fully open between them. Usually the flower has 10 stamens, and an ovary that fruits into a single capsule which splits into 3, with withered sepals still attached.

Each seed in the Sea Spurrey’s fruit capsule is encircled by a tiny pale wing.

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