Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Spreading Sandwort - Arenaria lanuginosa   (Michaux) Rohrbach
Members of Caryophyllaceae:
Members of Arenaria with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Caryophyllales » Family Caryophyllaceae
Author(Michaux) Rohrbach
DistributionEssentially a coastal species, ranging inland to a few areas with exposures of marl/coquina rock (Beaufort, Craven, and Jones counties).

This is a mostly Coastal Plain species, ranging from southeastern VA south to southern FL and west to CA. It does range inland sparingly to TN.
AbundanceRare and clearly declining, and now limited to about 4-5 currently known sites, based on the NCNHP database. It occurs in areas prone to coastal development, if not other impacts such as sea level rise. This is a Significantly Rare species, and though there are numerous collections and up to about 14 locations in the NCNHP database, the State Rank of S1 is completely justified.
HabitatThis species grows over marl or other calcareous soils, such as on marl outcrops, shell middens, dunes, and maritime forests.
PhenologyBlooms from May to July, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a decumbent herb, growing to about 2 feet long. It has opposite leaves, many along the stem; each is linear to narrowly oblanceolate, entire, about 1-inch long and barely 1/5-inch wide; a few axillary leaves may be present. The numerous flowers are axillary, one per axil, on long pedicels to about 1-inch long. A flower has short green sepals to only about 1/5-inch long, but the petals are usually absent, or if present, 5 very small and white ones. Identify this plant by its sprawling, decumbent habit, the numerous pairs of very narrow leaves, and flowers on long stalks.
Taxonomic CommentsIt is the nominate variety -- var. lanuginosa -- that is present in the state, according to Weakley (2018).

Other Common Name(s)Woolly Chickweed
State RankS1
Global RankG5
State Status[SR-P]
US Status
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