Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Annual Knawel - Scleranthus annuus   L.
Members of Caryophyllaceae:
Only member of Scleranthus in NC.
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Section 6 » Order Caryophyllales » Family Caryophyllaceae
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DistributionThroughout the state, but scarce in the Mountains. The gap in the Coastal Plain is just an artifact of collecting.

Native of Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa. In N.A., from southern Canada south to FL, LA, OK, ID, CA.
AbundanceFrequent to common in the Piedmont, Sandhills, and most of the Coastal Plain; rare to uncommon in the Mountains. Easily passed over, as the petals are absent or are seldom seen.
HabitatDry sand and poor sandy soil of roadsides, fields, ballfields, lawn weed, driveways, gravel parking lots, waste ground, vacant lots, railroads, cemeteries.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting March-October.
IdentificationAnnual Knawel is a poster child for "weed." It looks like a weed, lives in poor soils, the flowers are tiny and lack petals, and nothing about it attracts interest. It is low-growing, much-branched, prostrate, and tends to form small patches that at most reach a foot across. The leaves are numerous and linear, sharp-tipped. The inflorescences are in axils and terminal, the green sepals usually surpassed by bracts.
Taxonomic Comments
Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE *
Global RankGNR
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFACU link
USACE-empFACU link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
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B.A. SorrieFallow field and roadside, Whispering Pines, April 2015. MoorePhoto_non_natural
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