E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Moehringia macrophylla (Hook.) Fenzl
big-leaved sandwort (largeleaf sandwort)
Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #5859)

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Distribution of Moehringia macrophylla
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from an extensive slender rhizome; often forming loosely matted patches with many sterile as well as floriferous stems; stems decumbent to erect, several, usually branching, short rough-hairy, 3- or often 4-angled, 5-25 cm long.
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves opposite, numerous, linear-elliptic to lanceolate, abruptly sharp-pointed, 2-5 cm long, 2-12 mm wide, essentially glabrous; stipules lacking.
Inflorescence of 2-5, rarely solitary, flowers in a slender, pedunculate, terminal and lateral, minutely bracted cluster; petals 5, oblong, blunt, white, 2-10 mm long; sepals 5, 2.5-6 mm long, narrowly egg-shaped, abruptly sharp-pointed or long-pointed, usually whiskery.
Capsules globose-egg-shaped, 3-5 mm long, 6-valved; seeds few, smooth, with a prominent fleshy appendage.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to dry forests and rocky slopes in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common in extreme S BC, rare northward to 55degreeN; N to NT, E to PQ and S to NM and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Moehringia macrophylla

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 9 427 1964
Slope Gradient (%) 0 34 135
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
23 177 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(62), CWH(31), ESSF(6), IDF(5), MS(2), PP(3), SBPS(1)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to montane, Asian and transcontinental North American forb. Occurs in cool temperate and cool mesothermal climates on moderately dry to fresh, nitrogen-rich soils; its occurrence increases with increasing summer temperature and decreases with increasing latitude. Scattered in semiĀ­open Douglas-fir forests on water-shedding sites. A nitrophytic species characteristic of Moder and Mull humus forms.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool temperate & cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Arenaria macrophylla Hook.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References