Spergularia rubra

Botanical Name : Spergularia rubra
Family : Caryophyllaceae
Genus : Spergularia
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Caryophyllales
Species: S. rubra

Synonyms : Arenaria campestris – Auct., Arenaria rubra – L.,Buda rubra – (L.)Dum.
Common names: Purple Sand Spurry, Ruby Sandspurry, Sand Spurry, red sandspurry

Habitat : Spergularia rubra  is native to Europe, including Britain, south and east from Norway to N. Africa and Asia. N. America. It grows on open gravelly or sandy habitats. Sand dunes, heaths and coastal cliffs.

Description:
Spergularia rubra, a dicot, is an annual or perennial herb growing to 0.25m.
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from May to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies. The plant is self-fertile.

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The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soil. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Cultivation:
This plant is often found growing in paving crevices and other impoverished niches in the garden. It is a calcifuge plant, requiring neutral to acid soils.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or autumn in situ. Some seed germinates in the autumn in the wild while some germinates in the spring.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Seed.

Seed – cooked. Dried and ground into a meal then used with flour for making bread etc. A famine food, it is only used when all else fails.

Medicinal Uses
Lithontripic.
The leaves are diuretic and lithontripic. The plant contains a resinous aromatic substance that is probably the active principle. An infusion is thought to relax the muscle walls of the urinary tubules and so it is used in the treatment of kidney stones, acute and chronic cystitis and catarrh of the bladder.

It has long been used as a popular remedy in diseases of the bladder. It was shown by F. Vigier (J. P. C., 1879, ii, p. 371) to contain a resinous aromatic substance which is probably its active principle. It is strongly recommended by Bertherand in calculous diseases and acute and chronic cystitis.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Spergularia+rubra
http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-calrecnum=7716
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spergularia_rubra
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/img_query?rel-taxon=contains&where-taxon=Spergularia+rubra

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