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

Spergularia canadensis (Pers.) G. Don
Canadian sand-spurry (Canadian sandspurry)
Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Judith Holm  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #69108)

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Distribution of Spergularia canadensis
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Spergularia canadensis var. occidentalis

Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot; stems erect or ascending to decumbent, several, freely branched, essentially glabrous, 4-30 cm tall/long.
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves opposite, linear, 1-4.5 cm long, 1-2 mm wide, more or less glabrous, fleshy; stipules squared-off, wider than long, membranous, sheathing at the base.
Inflorescence of few to many flowers in a leafy cluster; petals 5, white or pink, 1-3 mm long; sepals 5, greenish, glabrous to moderately glandular-hairy, 2-3.5 mm long.
Capsules 3-5 mm long, 3-valved; seeds 0.8-1.1 mm long, light brown, usually wing-margined.
Two sometimes poorly defined varieties occur in BC.

1. Plants prostrate or decumbent; plants occurring N of Vancouver Island ..................var. canadensis

1. Plants erect or strongly ascending; plants of Vancouver Island and southward..................... var. occidentalis Rossbach

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Wet to moist coastal mud flats and sandy coastal beaches in the lowland zone; common in coastal BC; var. canadensis ranges N to AK and along the Atlantic Coast, var. occidentalis ranges S to N CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Spergularia canadensis

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 66 800
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 2
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
54 74 94
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
5 6 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(1), CWH(10), IDF(1)


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 not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References