Open the Advanced Search

Three-nerved Sandwort

Moehringia trinervia

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Caryophyllaceae (Pink)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
20 centimetres tall
Hedgerows, lawns, riversides, rocky places, woodland.

White, 5 petals
Flowers are a maximum of 7mm in diameter. The petals are not notched. The 5 green, pointed, hairy-edged sepals are roughly twice as long as the petals. Three-nerved Sandwort could possibly be confused with Chickweed but Chickweed has got very deeply notched petals. Flowers have 10 stamens each.
6-valved and globular.
An annual (sometimes biennial) flower, straggly and chickweed-like in appearance. The leaves are in opposite pairs and are pointed oval. There are 3 to 5 conspicuous veins on the undersides of the leaves. The leaves are finely haired on the margins and undersides and the margins are not toothed.
Other Names:
Apetalous Sandwort.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Moehringia trinervia is a species of flowering plant in the family Caryophyllaceae. It is native to Europe, including the alpine and subalpine regions of the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Carpathians, and the Balkans. It is a small herbaceous perennial plant with a prostrate or ascending habit. It has small, delicate leaves and produces small, white or pink flowers. This species is adapted to grow in rocky and stony habitats, such as talus slopes and crevices, and is considered to be a cold-tolerant and drought-resistant species. It is also known as "Three-nerved Sandwort" due to the 3 prominent veins on its leaves.


Three-nerved Sandwort (Moehringia trinervia) is a small, delicate plant that is found in a variety of habitats, including sand dunes, rocky outcrops, and open woodlands. It is native to Europe and Asia, and has been introduced to North America, where it is considered an invasive species in some areas.

The Three-nerved Sandwort gets its name from the three prominent veins that run the length of its leaves. The plant typically grows to a height of 10-20cm, and has small, white flowers that bloom from June to August. The flowers have five petals and are around 5-6mm in diameter.

In terms of cultivation, the Three-nerved Sandwort prefers well-drained soil and full sunlight, and is a relatively low-maintenance plant. It is often used as ground cover in rock gardens, and is a popular choice for alpine gardens due to its tolerance for cold temperatures.

In addition to its ornamental value, the Three-nerved Sandwort also has a number of medicinal uses. It has been traditionally used to treat respiratory and digestive ailments, and has also been used as a diuretic and to relieve menstrual cramps. However, it is important to note that the plant can be toxic in large quantities, and should not be consumed without proper guidance from a healthcare professional.

Three-nerved Sandwort is a member of the Caryophyllaceae family, which includes other familiar garden plants such as carnations and pinks. The plant is also known by a number of other common names, including Three-veined Sandwort, Three-ribbed Sandwort, and Three-nerved Chickweed.

In its natural habitat, the Three-nerved Sandwort plays an important role in stabilizing sand dunes and other coastal ecosystems. The plant's fibrous root system helps to anchor the soil and prevent erosion, while its small size and tolerance for harsh conditions make it well-suited to surviving in these environments.

However, in North America, the Three-nerved Sandwort has been introduced to a number of areas where it is considered an invasive species. In these regions, the plant can quickly spread and outcompete native vegetation, leading to a loss of biodiversity and other ecological impacts.

To prevent the spread of Three-nerved Sandwort and other invasive plant species, it is important to avoid planting them in areas where they are not native, and to take care to properly dispose of any plant material to prevent the spread of seeds. If you do plan to cultivate Three-nerved Sandwort in your garden, be sure to only purchase plants from reputable sources to avoid introducing invasive strains into the environment.

Three-nerved Sandwort is a fascinating plant with a rich history of both ornamental and medicinal use. Whether you are interested in its ecological importance or its potential health benefits, this versatile plant is certainly worth learning more about.

In addition to its traditional medicinal uses, recent studies have suggested that the Three-nerved Sandwort may have potential as a natural source of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. Antioxidants are compounds that help to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, which can contribute to a range of health issues, including cancer and heart disease.

Research has also suggested that the Three-nerved Sandwort may have anti-inflammatory properties, which could make it a useful natural remedy for conditions such as arthritis and other inflammatory disorders.

While more research is needed to fully understand the potential health benefits of the Three-nerved Sandwort, these findings suggest that the plant may be a valuable source of natural compounds that can support overall health and wellbeing.

It is also worth noting that Three-nerved Sandwort is an important food source for a range of animals, including birds and small mammals. In particular, the plant's small, nutritious seeds are an important food source for a number of bird species, and the plant's leaves are sometimes eaten by grazing animals such as sheep and rabbits.

Overall, the Three-nerved Sandwort is a fascinating plant with a range of ecological, medicinal, and nutritional properties. Whether you are interested in its role in the natural environment, its potential health benefits, or simply its delicate beauty, this versatile plant is certainly worth exploring further.


Three-nerved Sandwort filmed in Chorley, Lancashire on the 2nd May 2023.


Music credits
Stopping By the Inn by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

Please remember to Like and Subscribe to the WildFlowerWeb YouTube channel at

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map