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Overview

Brief Summary

Just like the names indicate, sea and sand spurrys are found in salty or sandy soils. The salt sand spurry grows on saline ground high up on the salt marsh where it rarely floods. Greater sea spurrey grows lower down on the marsh, where it risks the chance of being flooded. However, this plant has an ingenious method for suriving such a salty bath. As the water rises, the petals will close and retain an air bubble to keep the pistil and stamens dry.
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: (Usually described under the synonym Spergularia marina) Quebec to British Columbia, south along coast to Florida and locally inland to central New York, Illinois, Texas, and New Mexico. West coast from Washington to southern California. Also in Eurasia, Baja California, and South America. Records of this species from coastal regions of North America are native, while inland occurrences are adventive due to the use of de-icing salt, except at natural saltsprings where it may be native (Argus and White 1982).

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Distribution in Egypt

Nile region, Mediterranean region and Sinai.

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Global Distribution

Northern hemisphere, introduced into southern hemisphere.

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introduced and native; St. Pierre and Miquelon; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., N.W.T., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask.; Ala., Ariz., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Idaho, Ill., Iowa, Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Miss., Mo., Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tex., Utah, Va., Wash., Wis., Wyo.; Eurasia; almost cosmopolitan via introduction.
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Gansu, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Jiangsu, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Afghanistan, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia; N Africa, Europe, North America].
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Plants annual, delicate, 8-25(-30) cm, stipitate-glandular, at least in inflorescence. Taproots ± slender. Stems erect to ascending or prostrate, usually much-branched proximally; main stem 0.6-2(-3) mm diam. proximally. Leaves: stipules inconspicuous, dull white, broadly triangular, 1.2-3.5 mm, longer than wide, apex acute to short-acuminate; blade linear, (0.8-)1.5-4 cm, fleshy, apex blunt to apiculate; axillary leaf clusters usually absent. Cymes simple to 3+-compound or flowers solitary and axillary. Pedicels reflexed and oriented to 1 side in fruit. Flowers: sepals connate 0.5-1 mm proximally, lobes often 3-veined, ovate to elliptic, 2.5-4.5 mm, to 4.8 mm in fruit, margins 0.1-0.5 mm wide, apex acute to rounded; petals white or pink to rosy, ovate to elliptic-oblong, 0.8-1 times as long as sepals; stamens (1-)2-3(-5); styles 0.4-0.7 mm. Capsules greenish to tan, 2.8-6.4 mm, 1-1.5 times as long as sepals. Seeds light brown to reddish brown, with submarginal groove, broadly ovate, ± plump, 0.5-0.7(-0.8) mm, dull, ± smooth, often with gland-tipped papillae (30×); wing usually absent or incomplete. 2n = 18? (Asia), 36 (Europe).
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Description

Herbs annual or biennial, rarely perennial, with slender or slightly fleshy stock. Stems 10--30 cm tall, densely pubescent. Leaves not or rarely fasciculate, 5--30 × 1--1.5 mm, fleshy, apex mucronate; stipules not silvery, broadly triangular, forming a sheath. Flowers terminal or axillary; bracts reduced. Sepals ovate, ca. 3.5 × 1.5--1.8 mm, abaxially glandular pubescent, margin membranous. Petals pink above, white near base, rarely entirely white, ovate-oblong or elliptic-ovate, shorter than sepals, apex obtuse. Stamens 2--5. Capsule 5--6 mm, ovoid, usually exceeding calyx. Seeds light brown, 0.5--0.7 mm, smooth or densely tuberculate, mostly unwinged, sometimes with erose wing. Fl. Apr--Jul, fr. May--Sep. 2n = 36.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Spergularia marina (Linnaeus) Grisebach; S. marina var. tenuis (Greene) R. Rossbach; S. salina var. tenuis (Greene) Jepson; S. tenuis Greene; Tissa marina (Linnaeus) Britton
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Synonym

Arenaria rubra Linnaeus var. marina Linnaeus; Spergularia salina J. Presl & C. Presl.
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Along coasts and occasionally inland in more or less alkaline areas

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Mud flats, alkaline fields, sandy river bottoms, sandy coasts, salt marshes, saline highway edges (Great Lakes region); 0-1400m.
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Saline soils, salt meadows, riversides, lakesides, farmlands; 200--2800 m.
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Depth range based on 4 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1 - 1
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Associations

Foodplant / parasite
sorus of Albugo lepigoni parasitises live above ground parts of Spergularia marina

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / feeds on
Gronops lunatus feeds on Spergularia marina
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / parasite
sporangium of Peronospora obovata parasitises live Spergularia marina

Foodplant / parasite
telium of Uromyces sparsus parasitises live Spergularia marina

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering summer-early fall.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Spergularia marina

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Spergularia marina

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 10
Specimens with Barcodes: 11
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Spergularia salina

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Notes

Comments

While Spergularia salina may be native in coastal areas and some inland saline sites in much of the cited range, populations in the Great Lakes region are introduced where, as in S. media, highway and sidewalk salt runoff has created favorable habitats.  

Variety tenuis has been distinguished from var. salina by some authors as follows: cyme crowded versus lax, sepals 1.6-3.8 mm versus 2.4-5 mm, mature capsules 3-4.4 mm versus 3.6-6.4 mm, respectively. Due to the extreme overlap in morphologic features as well as geographic ranges, var. tenuis is not recognized here.

The name Spergularia marina var. leiosperma (Kindberg) Gurke has been applied to plants with smooth seeds but, as pointed out by R. P. Rossbach (1940), separation of plants with smooth versus papillose seeds is not practical.

Some authors believe that the correct name for this species is Spergularia marina.

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Comments

The nomenclatural history involving the first use of the epithet marina at the species rank is complex, and some authors feel that Spergularia salina is the correct name for this taxon.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: As treated by Kartesz (1994 checklist and 6/99 review draft dataset), includes Spergularia marina.

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