T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Spergula arvensis (Spurrey weed)

Kingdom: Plantae 
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida 
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Caryophyllaceae 
Genus: Spergula 
Species: S. arvensis 
Binomial name: Spergula arvensis
Synonyms: Spergula vulgaris, Spergula arvensis subsp. vulgaris,
Common name: Spurrey weed,  Corn spurrey.

Spergula arvensis is an annual seed-propagated weed. It is a weed with short taproot and creeping, ramified growth. Cotyledons are very slender, linearly needle-shaped, standing diagonally upward. Foliage leaves are linearly awl-shaped, upper surface arched, underside furrowed, 2-3 cm long, sticky haired, in whorled tufts. Stems are erect or ascending in groups or prostrate, jointly articulated, up to 40 cm high or longer. The small flower has five white petals and calyx with separate sepals, in a terminal, umbellate-like inflorescence. The small seeds are black, with narrow brownish margin and are 1-1.8 mm in diameter. Each plant can produce from 1000-10,000 seeds. The seeds germinate during spring at a depth of 0.5-3 cm. Flowering period is summer-autumn. Seeds per plant are from 1000-10,000.
 It is not a large weed, it can grow densely. It can also cause problems by smothering emerging seedlings. It has seeds which can remain viable within the soil for many years.  Spurrey has sprawling stems, and leaves are very narrow structures which are gathered in clusters along the stem. 


Spurrey spreading across the ground.

The flower bud

Close up of a  Spurrey flower

The hairy stems.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/