7a. Spergularia media (Linnaeus) C. Presl var. media
Spergularia marginata Kittel; S. maritima (Linnaeus) Chiovenda
Plants annual or short-lived perennial with branching caudex, stout, 7-30 cm, glabrous or sparse-ly stipitate-glandular distally. Taproots slender to moderately stout. Stems erect to ascending or prostrate, much-branched proxi-mally; main stem 1-4 mm diam. proximally. Leaves: stipules inconspicuous, dull white, broadly triangular, 2.6-6 mm, apex acuminate to spine-tipped; blade linear to broadly so, 0.5-3.5 cm, distinctly fleshy, apex apiculate to spine-tipped; axillary leaf clusters mostly absent, sometimes of 2-4 leaves. Cymes simple or 3+-compound. Pedicels reflexed and oriented to 1 side in fruit. Flowers: sepals connate 0.3-1 mm proximally, lobes often 3-veined, lanceolate to ovate, 2.5-5 mm, to 7 mm in fruit, margins 0.1-0.5 mm wide, apex obtuse to rounded; petals white to apically pink, elliptic to obovate, 0.8-1 times as long as sepals; stamens 9-10; styles 0.5-1 mm. Capsules tan, (4.5-)5.5-7(-8) mm, 1.2-1.4 times as long as sepals. Seeds dark reddish brown, submarginal groove absent, broadly ovate, compressed, 0.8-1.1 mm, ± smooth, not papillate; wings usually present, white to reddish brown, 0.3-0.5 mm wide, margins irregular. 2n = 18, 36? (both Europe).
Flowering summer-fall. Salt flats, salt marshes, sandy beaches, saline highway edges (Great Lakes region); 0-1700 m; introduced; Ont., Que.; Calif., Colo., Ill., Ind., Mass., Mich., Mont., N.Mex., N.Y., N.Dak., Ohio, Oreg., Pa., Utah, Wyo.; coastal Europe except ne; Asia; Africa (Mediterranean region); introduced widely elsewhere including South America, e Asia, Australia.