Open the Advanced Search


Corrigiola littoralis

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
Beaches, mud, rocky places, sand dunes, seaside, wasteland, waterside.

White, 5 petals
Flowers appear in tight, leafy clusters at the ends of the stems. The flowers are white and sometimes tipped red. The petals are shorter than the sepals. The sepals are white-edged and sometimes maroon in their centres. Self-pollinating.
Ovoid in shape.
The narrowly oval leaves are alternate along the stems. Annual or biennial.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Corrigiola littoralis, also known as strandline sandwort, is a species of flowering plant in the carnation family. It is native to coastal areas of Europe and Africa, and typically grows in sandy or rocky coastal habitats. The plant has small, white or pink flowers and narrow, green leaves. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate exposure to salt spray and strong winds. It is often used in coastal landscaping and erosion control projects.


Strapwort, also known as Corrigiola littoralis, is a small flowering plant that belongs to the Caryophyllaceae family. It is a salt-tolerant plant that thrives in sandy and rocky habitats, particularly in coastal regions. Strapwort is commonly found in Europe, Asia, and North America, where it is often used for medicinal and culinary purposes.

Description and Habitat

Strapwort is a small herbaceous perennial plant that grows up to 10 cm in height. Its leaves are strap-shaped, narrow, and succulent, with a blue-green hue. The flowers of strapwort are small, white or pale pink, and grow in dense clusters on the tips of the stems. They bloom from May to September, and the plant produces small, capsule-like fruits that contain numerous seeds.

Strapwort is found in coastal areas, particularly in salt marshes, sand dunes, and rocky seashores. It is adapted to living in harsh environments, and can tolerate salt spray, strong winds, and poor soil conditions. Strapwort is also commonly found in disturbed habitats, such as road verges, gravel pits, and abandoned quarries.

Medicinal and Culinary Uses

Strapwort has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, particularly those related to the digestive system. It is known to have anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, and has been used to alleviate symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, and gastrointestinal disorders.

In culinary applications, strapwort is primarily used in salads and as a garnish. The leaves have a slightly bitter taste and are often used to add flavor to soups, stews, and sauces. The plant is also used in the production of tea, which is said to have a refreshing taste and mild diuretic properties.

Conservation Status

Strapwort is considered a rare and declining species in many regions, particularly in Europe, where it is listed as a priority species for conservation. Its habitat is under threat due to coastal development, habitat loss, and the spread of invasive species. In North America, strapwort is not considered a threatened species, but it is still at risk due to its limited range and vulnerability to habitat disturbance.


Strapwort is a fascinating plant that has adapted to living in harsh coastal environments. Its medicinal and culinary uses have made it an important plant in traditional cultures, but its conservation status highlights the need for continued efforts to protect its habitat and ensure its survival. As we continue to explore the natural world, plants like strapwort remind us of the importance of preserving biodiversity and the incredible adaptations that allow life to thrive in even the most challenging environments.

Some Facts about Strapwort

Here are some additional facts about Strapwort:

  • Strapwort has a number of common names, including Redmouth, Blue Nailwort, and Sandwort.
  • The species name "littoralis" means "growing on the shore" in Latin, which accurately describes its habitat preference.
  • In addition to its medicinal and culinary uses, strapwort has also been used in traditional dyeing practices, as the plant contains red and yellow pigments that can be extracted and used to color textiles.
  • The plant is able to tolerate high levels of salt due to its ability to excrete excess salt through specialized salt glands on its leaves.
  • Strapwort is a key plant in the ecosystems it inhabits, as it stabilizes sand dunes and helps to prevent erosion along shorelines.
  • The plant has been studied for its potential as a phytoremediation tool, as it is able to absorb heavy metals and other pollutants from the soil in contaminated areas.
  • Strapwort has been the subject of several scientific studies, which have explored its chemical composition, biological activity, and genetic makeup.
  • While it is primarily a coastal plant, strapwort can also be found growing in alpine and subalpine regions, where it is able to tolerate extreme temperatures and harsh weather conditions.
  • Strapwort is often found growing alongside other salt-tolerant plants, such as Sea Rocket, Sea Lavender, and Sea Kale, which form a unique and diverse ecosystem in coastal regions.

Some more Information about Strapwort

Here are some additional information about Strapwort:

  • Strapwort is dioecious, meaning that male and female flowers are produced on separate plants. Both types of flowers have a similar appearance, but the female flowers produce fruits that contain the plant's seeds.
  • The plant has a long history of use in traditional medicine, and has been used to treat conditions such as rheumatism, hemorrhoids, and inflammation of the mouth and throat.
  • Strapwort is sometimes used in folk remedies to treat skin conditions such as eczema, and it has been suggested that the plant's astringent properties may help to soothe irritated skin.
  • In some cultures, the leaves and stems of strapwort are boiled and used to make a tea that is believed to have diuretic and cleansing properties.
  • Strapwort is considered an important indicator species for the conservation of salt marsh habitats, as it is highly sensitive to changes in the quality of the soil and water in these areas.
  • The plant has a relatively short life cycle, typically only living for two to three years. However, it is able to produce a large number of seeds, which helps to ensure its survival in harsh and changing environments.
  • Strapwort is sometimes used as a groundcover in gardens and landscaping, as its low-growing habit and tolerance for poor soil make it a hardy and attractive option for rocky or sandy areas.
  • The plant's seeds are often dispersed by wind or water, and can remain viable in the soil for several years before germinating.
  • While strapwort is not typically considered an invasive species, it has been known to spread rapidly in disturbed areas where soil has been disrupted or compacted.
  • The plant's delicate and intricate flowers make it a popular subject for botanical illustration and photography, and it has been featured in numerous field guides and nature books.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map