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Early Sand-grass

Mibora minima

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.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Poaceae (Grass)
Also in this family:
Alpine Catstail, Alpine Foxtail, Alpine Meadow-grass, Annual Beard-grass, Annual Meadow-grass, Arrow Bamboo, Barren Brome Grass, Bearded Couch Grass, Bearded Fescue, Bermuda Grass, Black Bent, Black Grass, Blue Fescue, Blue Moor-grass, Bog Hair-grass, Borrer's Saltmarsh Grass, Bread Wheat, Bristle Bent, Brown Bent, Brown Sedge, Bulbous Foxtail, Bulbous Meadow-grass, California Brome Grass, Canary Grass, Carnation Sedge, Cocksfoot, Cockspur, Common Bent, Common Cord-grass, Common Millet, Common Reed, Common Saltmarsh Grass, Compact Brome Grass, Corn, Couch Grass, Creeping Bent, Creeping Soft-grass, Crested Dog's-tail, Crested Hair-grass, Cultivated Oat, Curved Hard Grass, Cut Grass, Dense Silky Bent, Downy Oat-grass, Drooping Brome Grass, Drooping Tor Grass, Dune Fescue, Early Hair-grass, Early Meadow-grass, False Brome Grass, False Oat-grass, Fern Grass, Fine-leaved Sheep's Fescue, Flattened Meadow-grass, Floating Sweet-grass, Foxtail Barley, French Oat, Giant Fescue, Glaucous Meadow-grass, Great Brome Grass, Greater Quaking Grass, Grey Hair-grass, Hairy Brome Grass, Hairy Finger-grass, Hard Fescue, Hard Grass, Harestail Grass, Heath Grass, Holy Grass, Hybrid Marram Grass, Italian Rye Grass, Knotroot Bristlegrass, Lesser Hairy Brome Grass, Lesser Quaking Grass, Loose Silky Bent, Lyme Grass, Marram Grass, Marsh Foxtail, Mat Grass, Mat-grass Fescue, Meadow Barley, Meadow Fescue, Meadow Foxtail, Meadow Oat-grass, Mountain Melick, Narrow-leaved Meadow-grass, Narrow-leaved Small-reed, Neglected Couch Grass, Nit Grass, Orange Foxtail, Pampas Grass, Perennial Rye Grass, Plicate Sweet-grass, Purple Moor-grass, Purple Small-reed, Purple-stem Catstail, Quaking Grass, Ratstail Fescue, Red Fescue, Reed Canary Grass, Reed Sweet-grass, Reflexed Saltmarsh Grass, Rescue Grass, Rough Meadow-grass, Rush-leaved Fescue, Sand Catstail, Sand Couch Grass, Scandinavian Small-reed, Scottish Small-reed, Sea Barley, Sea Couch Grass, Sea Fern Grass, Sheep's Fescue, Silver Hair-grass, Six-rowed Barley, Slender Brome Grass, Small Cord-grass, Small Sweet-grass, Smaller Catstail, Smooth Brome Grass, Smooth Cord-grass, Smooth Finger-grass, Smooth Meadow-grass, Soft Brome Grass, Somerset Hair-grass, Sorghum, Spreading Meadow-grass, Squirreltail Fescue, Stiff Brome Grass, Stiff Saltmarsh Grass, Sweet Vernal Grass, Tall Fescue, Timothy Grass, Tor Grass, Tufted Hair-grass, Two-rowed Barley, Upright Brome Grass, Velvet Bent, Viviparous Fescue, Wall Barley, Wavy Hair-grass, Wavy Meadow-grass, Whorl Grass, Wild Oat, Wood Barley, Wood Fescue, Wood Meadow-grass, Wood Melick, Wood Millet, Yellow Oat-grass, Yorkshire Fog
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
15 centimetres tall
Mountains, rocky places, sand dunes, seaside.

Green, no petals
One-sided flower spikes. The stems of the flowers are thread-like. Spikelets are one-flowered.
The fruit is a caryopsis. A caryopsis is a kind of fruit which is dry and one-seeded.
A very small tufted annual grass. Flat, greyish-green leaves, up to 5cm (2 inches) long and 0.5mm wide. Ligules, up to 1mm in length.
Other Names:
Creeping Corydalis, Dwarf Manna-grass, Rock Harlequin, Slender Manna-grass.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Mibora minima, also known as creeping corydalis or rock harlequin, is a perennial herb that is native to Europe, Asia, and North America. It is known for its small, delicate flowers that are typically pink, purple, or white in color. The plant prefers to grow in rocky and alpine habitats, and is often found in crevices and on ledges. Mibora minima has a long history of traditional use in herbal medicine, especially in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. It has been used to treat a wide range of ailments, such as menstrual cramps, headaches, and anxiety. It is also considered a protected species and not recommended to harvest wild specimens.


Early Sand-grass (Mibora minima) is a small, delicate annual plant that belongs to the grass family Poaceae. It is also known by other common names such as Dwarf Manna-grass and Slender Manna-grass. This plant is native to Europe, and it is found in sandy habitats such as dunes, heathlands, and gravel pits.

Early Sand-grass is a petite plant, growing up to a height of only 5-15 cm. It has a slender, wiry stem that is light green in color, and it branches out at the base. The leaves are narrow, linear, and pointed, and they grow up to 3 cm in length. The inflorescence of the plant is a dense, cylindrical spike that is up to 3 cm long, and it is composed of numerous small, greenish flowers.

Early Sand-grass is a very adaptable plant that can grow in a wide range of soil types, from sandy to loamy. It is also tolerant of both dry and wet conditions. This adaptability makes it an excellent pioneer species, colonizing disturbed areas and stabilizing loose soils. Early Sand-grass also plays a role in the ecosystem as a food source for insects such as grasshoppers and moths.

Despite its ecological importance, Early Sand-grass is not a widely known plant. It is often overlooked due to its small size and inconspicuous appearance. However, it is an interesting and beautiful plant that deserves more attention. Its delicate, intricate structure and green color make it a charming addition to any landscape.

Early Sand-grass is a small but mighty plant that is a crucial part of many ecosystems. Its adaptability and ability to colonize disturbed areas make it an important pioneer species, while its role as a food source for insects adds to its ecological significance. Although it may be overlooked, Early Sand-grass is a valuable and fascinating plant that is worth discovering.

Early Sand-grass (Mibora minima) is a relatively unknown plant that has a lot to offer. Despite its small size, it has many interesting features and uses. Here are some more details about this fascinating plant:

Uses: Early Sand-grass has some traditional medicinal uses in European countries. It is believed to have diuretic, laxative, and emollient properties. In some cultures, the plant was used to treat skin conditions, rheumatism, and other ailments. However, it is important to note that more research is needed to verify these uses.

Ecological Significance: Early Sand-grass is an important plant for stabilizing sand dunes and other sandy habitats. Its root system helps to bind the soil and prevent erosion, while its ability to tolerate dry conditions helps it survive in arid environments. Early Sand-grass also plays a role in the food chain as a food source for insects such as grasshoppers and moths. It is an important part of many ecosystems, and its loss would have a significant impact.

Identification: Early Sand-grass can be identified by its slender, wiry stem and narrow, linear leaves. The leaves are pointed and grow up to 3 cm in length. The inflorescence is a dense, cylindrical spike that is up to 3 cm long, and it is composed of numerous small, greenish flowers. The plant is often found in sandy habitats such as dunes, heathlands, and gravel pits.

Conservation: Early Sand-grass is not a rare plant, but it is often overlooked and undervalued. As with many small, inconspicuous plants, it can be easily lost in the shuffle of larger, showier species. However, it is important to recognize the role that Early Sand-grass plays in ecosystems and to protect it from habitat loss and other threats. Conservation efforts can include habitat restoration, monitoring populations, and raising awareness about the plant's importance.

Early Sand-grass is a small but significant plant that has many uses and ecological benefits. It is an important pioneer species and plays a role in stabilizing sandy habitats. Early Sand-grass is also an interesting and beautiful plant that is worth getting to know. As with many small, overlooked species, it is important to recognize the value of Early Sand-grass and to work towards its conservation.

Here are some additional facts about Early Sand-grass:

Geographic Distribution: Early Sand-grass is native to Europe, and it is found throughout much of the continent. It has also been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America, where it is considered an invasive species in some areas.

Life Cycle: Early Sand-grass is an annual plant, meaning that it completes its life cycle in one year. The plant germinates from a seed in the spring and grows throughout the summer, producing flowers in late summer or early fall. The plant then sets seed and dies in the fall, with the seeds overwintering in the soil and germinating the following spring.

Relationship to Other Plants: Early Sand-grass is a member of the grass family Poaceae, which includes many important crop species such as wheat, corn, and rice. Within the family, it is classified in the subfamily Pooideae, which includes many other grasses that grow in sandy habitats.

Cultural Significance: Early Sand-grass does not have a significant cultural or historical significance, but it has been used for scientific research. Because it is a relatively simple plant with a short life cycle, it has been studied as a model organism for plant genetics and developmental biology.

Early Sand-grass is a small but versatile plant that has many interesting features and uses. Its adaptability and ecological significance make it an important species, while its delicate structure and green color make it a charming addition to any landscape.

Adaptations: Early Sand-grass is well-adapted to dry and nutrient-poor habitats. Its narrow leaves help to reduce water loss, while its ability to grow in sandy soils allows it to access the limited nutrients available. The plant is also able to photosynthesize in low light conditions, making it well-suited to shady habitats.

Taxonomy: Early Sand-grass is classified within the genus Mibora, which contains just two species. The other species, Mibora minima, is native to the Canary Islands and is similar in appearance to Early Sand-grass.

Threats: As with many plant species, habitat loss is a significant threat to Early Sand-grass. The destruction of sand dune habitats and other sandy areas can lead to a decline in populations. In addition, the spread of invasive plant species, changes in land use, and climate change can also impact the survival of Early Sand-grass.

Conservation Efforts: There are various efforts underway to conserve Early Sand-grass and other plant species that grow in sandy habitats. Habitat restoration projects, in which damaged areas are replanted with native vegetation, can help to create suitable habitats for Early Sand-grass. Monitoring of populations and research into the plant's biology and ecology can also help to inform conservation efforts. Public education and outreach can also help to raise awareness about the importance of Early Sand-grass and other overlooked plant species.

In conclusion, Early Sand-grass is a unique and valuable plant species that is worth protecting. Its ability to thrive in sandy habitats and its role in stabilizing these environments make it an important part of many ecosystems. By raising awareness about the plant and taking steps to conserve its habitats, we can help to ensure that Early Sand-grass and other small plant species continue to thrive for generations to come.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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