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

Sagina maxima A. Gray
coastal pearlwort (stickystem pearlwort)
Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #9345)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Sagina maxima
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Species Information

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Biennial or perennial herb from a taproot and branching stem-base; forming clumps to 20 cm across; stems decumbent to erect, several, branched, glabrous or sometimes very sparsely glandular-hairy above, 2-12 cm tall/long.
Basal leaves succulent, linear, 1-3 cm long, up to 2 mm wide, 1-nerved, glabrous, in rosettes; stem leaves succulent, opposite, 2-6 pairs, linear, 5-15 mm long, often with fascicles of secondary leaves in their axils; stipules lacking.
Inflorescence of erect, solitary, terminal or lateral flowers; petals 5, oblong, white, 1.5-2.5 mm long, sometimes lacking; sepals 5, greenish, egg-shaped, 2.5-3.5 mm long.
Capsules broadly egg-shaped, 3-5 mm long, 4- to 5-valved; seeds about 0.5 mm long, smooth to slightly pebbled, reddish-brown, shiny.
Two subspecies occur in BC:

1. Plants glandular above..................... ssp. maxima

1. Plants glabrous...................... ssp. crassicaulis (S. Wats.) Crow

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry rocky or sandy bluffs and gravelly beaches in the lowland zone; common in coastal BC; amphiberingian, ssp. maxima ranges S to N WA and ssp. crassicaulis N to AK and S to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Sagina maxima

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) 0 2 9
Slope Gradient (%) 0 13 70
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
80 79 352
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 4 7
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: CWH(7)


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 mesothermal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References