Open the Advanced Search

English Sandwort

Arenaria norvegica anglica

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:
10 centimetres tall
Meadows, mountains, rocky places.

White, 5 petals
Solitary white flowers, up to 2.3cm in diameter. 3 styles. Similar to Arctic Sandwort (Arenaria norvegica) but with larger flowers, up to 2.3cm in diameter.
The fruits are egg-shaped.
An annual or biennial with leaves in opposite pairs along the stems. The shape of the leaves are narrowly oval. Can be found in the Pennines, West Yorkshire (Limestone pavements).
Other Names:
Norwegian Sandwort, Rock Sandwort, Yorkshire Sandwort.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Arenaria norvegica is a species that is native to Europe, Asia, and North America and typically grows in rocky or gravelly soils in open areas such as mountains, hills, and alpine meadows. It is considered a threatened species in some areas due to habitat loss and overgrazing.


English Sandwort, or Arenaria norvegica anglica, is a flowering plant that belongs to the Caryophyllaceae family. It is native to the coastal areas of England and Wales, and it can be found growing in sandy dunes, shingle beaches, and cliff tops.

This plant is a small perennial herb that grows up to 10 cm tall. It has small, lance-shaped leaves that are dark green in color and grow in a rosette pattern at the base of the plant. The stems are thin and wiry, and they bear clusters of small, white flowers that bloom in the summer months.

English Sandwort is a hardy plant that can tolerate salty and windy conditions, making it well-suited for coastal environments. It is also an important plant for stabilizing sand dunes and preventing erosion, as its root system helps to anchor the soil in place.

In addition to its ecological importance, English Sandwort has a number of medicinal properties. It has been used traditionally to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory problems, digestive issues, and skin conditions. The plant is also rich in antioxidants, which can help to protect the body against free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

English Sandwort is an important part of the coastal ecosystem and plays a vital role in maintaining the stability of sand dunes and preventing erosion. Its small size and hardiness make it a popular choice for gardens and landscaping in coastal areas, and its medicinal properties make it a valuable herb for natural remedies. Whether you encounter it in the wild or in a cultivated setting, English Sandwort is a fascinating and important plant that deserves our attention and appreciation.

English Sandwort, also known as Norwegian Sandwort or Rock Sandwort, is a fascinating plant that has adapted to harsh and challenging environments. It is often found in sandy, windswept areas where other plants struggle to survive, and its small size and delicate flowers make it a unique and charming addition to any landscape.

One interesting feature of English Sandwort is its ability to self-pollinate, which allows it to reproduce even in isolated or remote locations. This makes it an important species for maintaining genetic diversity and ensuring the survival of local ecosystems.

In addition to its ecological and medicinal properties, English Sandwort has also played a cultural role in human history. It has been used in traditional medicine by indigenous peoples in the British Isles, and it was also used in medieval Europe to treat a variety of ailments. Today, it is still used in some herbal remedies and natural health products.

English Sandwort is an important and fascinating plant that has much to offer in terms of ecological, medicinal, and cultural significance. Whether you are a botanist, gardener, or nature enthusiast, this small but resilient plant is sure to capture your imagination and spark your curiosity.

English Sandwort is a relatively easy plant to grow, as it is adapted to poor and sandy soils and does not require much in the way of care or maintenance. It can be grown in rock gardens, containers, or as a ground cover in sandy areas, and it can also be used to stabilize slopes and prevent erosion.

If you are interested in growing English Sandwort, it is best to start with a healthy and vigorous plant from a reputable nursery. Plant it in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter, and water it regularly during the growing season. English Sandwort prefers full sun to partial shade and does not tolerate wet or soggy soil.

One of the great things about English Sandwort is its versatility in landscaping. It can be used as a ground cover to create a low-maintenance and attractive lawn substitute, or it can be used to add texture and interest to rock gardens, borders, and other landscaping features.

In summary, English Sandwort is a fascinating and hardy plant that has much to offer in terms of ecological, medicinal, and cultural significance. Whether you encounter it in the wild or choose to grow it in your garden, this small and unassuming plant is sure to capture your imagination and spark your curiosity.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map