Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |
| N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon

Spergula arvensis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CaryophyllaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: PINK FAMILY
Habit: Annual to perennial herb; rarely dioecious (Silene), taprooted or rhizome generally slender. Leaf: simple, generally opposite (subwhorled), entire, pairs at nodes often +- connected at bases; stipules generally 0; petiole generally 0. Inflorescence: generally cyme, generally open; flowers 1--many; involucre generally 0 (present in Dianthus, Petrorhagia). Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium often present but obscure; sepals (4)5, +- free or fused into a tube, margins generally scarious, more so on inner 2 or not, tube generally not scarious, awns generally 0; petals (4)5 or 0, generally tapered to base (or with claw long, limb expanded), entire to 2--several-lobed, limb generally without scale-like appendages adaxially, generally without ear-like lobes at base; stamens generally 10, generally fertile, generally free, generally from ovary base; nectaries 0 or 5; ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, placentas basal or free-central, styles 2--5 with 0 branches or 1 with 2--3 branches. Fruit: capsule or utricle (rarely +- dehiscent), generally sessile. Seed: appendage generally 0 (present in Moehringia).
Genera In Family: 83 or 89 genera, 3000 species: widespread, especially arctic, alpine, temperate northern hemisphere; some cultivated (Agrostemma, Arenaria, Cerastium, Dianthus, Gypsophila, Lychnis, Sagina, Saponaria, Silene, Vaccaria). Note: Apetalous Caryophyllaceae can also be keyed in Rabeler & Hartman 2005 FNANM 5:5--8.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald L. Hartman & Richard K. Rabeler, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: SpergulaView Description 

Common Name: SPURREY
Habit: Annual, ascending to erect, taprooted. Leaf: opposite but appearing whorled due to axillary clusters of 16--30 per node; stipules 1--2 mm, ovate to triangular, entire, scarious, white; vein 1. Inflorescence: terminal; flowers several to many; pedicels 40+ mm. Flower: sepals 5, +- free, 2.5--5 mm, elliptic to +- ovate, glandular-hairy; petals 5, 2.5--4 mm, entire, white; stamens 5 or 10; styles 5, 0.3--0.6 mm. Fruit: capsule, ovoid; valves 5, spreading to +- recurved. Seed: several, +- black.
Species In Genus: 5 species: temperate Eurasia. Etymology: (Latin: to scatter, from sowing seeds for early forage in Eur)
Reference: Hartman & Rabeler 2005 FNANM 5:14--16
Spergula arvensis L.
Habit: Plant glabrous or generally glandular-hairy. Stem: 10--40+ cm; base +- branched. Leaf: 1--5 cm, +- linear; tip blunt to abruptly pointed; margin often strongly rolled under. Inflorescence: bracts like stipules, often +- purple; pedicels erect to ascending, in fruit spreading to reflexed. Flower: sepals +- acute to rounded, margin widely scarious, ribs often 3, weak; petals ovate, persistent in fruit. Seed: 1--1.5 mm diam, +- spheric, with +- white, club-shaped papillae or minutely roughened. Chromosomes: 2n=18,36.
Ecology: Open slopes, pine woodland, sand dunes, fields, disturbed areas; Elevation: < 200 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, NCoRO, n SNH, GV, CW (exc SCoRI), SCo; Distribution Outside California: scattered in North America, native to Europe. Flowering Time: Spring--early summer
Jepson eFlora Author: Ronald L. Hartman & Richard K. Rabeler
Reference: Hartman & Rabeler 2005 FNANM 5:14--16
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Spergula
Next taxon: Spergularia

Name Search

Botanical illustration including Spergula arvensis

botanical illustration including Spergula arvensis


Citation for this treatment: Ronald L. Hartman & Richard K. Rabeler 2012, Spergula arvensis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on March 05, 2021.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2021, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on March 05, 2021.

Spergula arvensis
click for enlargement
© 2005 Steve Matson
Spergula arvensis
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Spergula arvensis
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Spergula arvensis
click for enlargement
© 2014 Neal Kramer
Spergula arvensis
click for enlargement
© 2005 George W. Hartwell
Spergula arvensis
click for enlargement
© 2007 Neal Kramer

More photos of Spergula arvensis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Spergula arvensis:
NCo, NCoRO, n SNH, GV, CW (exc SCoRI), SCo
1. You can change the display of the base map and layers by clicking on the layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. California county polygons can be turned off and on in the layer control box.
3. Filling of Jepson subdivision polygons can be turned off and on in the layer control box.
4. Moving the cursor over any numbered cluster will show the range boundary of the included specimens (with a blue polygon).
5. Marker clustering can be turned off by clicking this link:      Marker Clustering OFF
WARNING: Turning this off might cause maps with large numbers of specimens to load slowly.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


View elevation by latitude chart

Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).