Prickly Starwort

Prickly Starwort (Stellaria pungens)

This post is the beginning of a weekly addition to the A – Z Plant Index showing plant species we have growing on our property.    I’ve started small, based on previously published posts, but I have a large stock of unpublished photographs to identify and add over the coming months.  This list will evolve and probably change as I work out how best to organise it. So if you have suggestions on how  to do it, I’m happy to learn.

In Spring, a pretty daisy-like ground cover appeared along a fence line.  Thinking it may be a weed or an introduced species, I photographed it for identification.  When it turned out to be a plant species native to this area, I was extremely happy.

Initially, I thought the plant was Forest Starwort which was the only flower shown with ten petals, and ten red-tipped stamens in my field guides to plants.  However, on further investigation online, (thank you VicVeg and the Department of Primary Industries Victorian Resources Online websites) I realise we actually have Prickly Starwort.  The leaves are the identifying feature, with Prickly Starwort (naturally) having long, slender, sharp leaves,  while Forest Starwort leaves are rounder and softer.

The plant produces small fruit after flowering.

Prickly Starwort
Prickly Starwort (Stellaria pungens)

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