Transformational Gardening

Disclaimer: Foraging can be fun, rewarding and provide health benefits. As a novice forager, I will be sharing my foraging experiences. However, in order to be safe, always consult with local foraging experts and guidebooks before beginning foraging. Children should learn to forage safely by being guided by experienced adults. Never ingest anything unless you are certain of the identification and safety of the plant. Some plant species are inedible and some are poisonous.

Red Sandspurry (Spergularia rubra): Images

Date Location Notes Images
May 15, 2012 Southeastern, New Hampshire This quick identification owes much thanks to the XID Services Expert Identification Software. When I have no idea what genus the plant is in, I often use this software to help quickly identify the genus and sometimes species rather than flipping through pictures in field guides and online references. I may be successful with this software in only 20-30% of the plants I look up (since the software only contains 1,000 broadleaf weeds), but in those cases, it saves me hours. In this case, I marked the following attributes in the software and three possibilities where returned:
  • Flower purple or pink
  • Leaf length 5 - 20 mm
  • Leaf width < 1 mm
  • Location: New Hampshire
Once the three possibilities were returned, I looked at the pictures and determined that it was either Spergularia rubra or a similar species. I then went to the botanical guide by Arthur Haines, Flora Novae Angliae: A Manual for the Identification of Native and Naturalized Higher Vascular Plants of New England, to confirm the species.

Spergularia rubra is differentiated from other Spergularia species in New England by:
  • 6-10 stamen per flower
  • Evident fascicle of leaves in each axil.
  • Seeds 0.4 to 0.6 mm long
  • Found in fields, roadsides, lawns (and not coastal beaches and marshes)
Date Location Notes Images
May 23, 2012 Southeastern, New Hampshire