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Mountain Sandwort

Minuartia rubella

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:
Caryophyllaceae (Pink)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
10 centimetres tall
Mountains, rocky places.

White, 5 petals
Solitary white flowers with pointed sepals much longer than the petals.
The fruit is an ovoid capsule, about 5mm in size. Reddish-brown seeds.
A tufted perennial flower with 3-veined, linear, needle-like leaves. The stalks are hairy.
Other Names:
Arctic Sandwort, Beautiful Sandwort, Boreal Stitchwort.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Minuartia rubella is a species of flowering plant in the family Caryophyllaceae. It is native to the Mediterranean region, including Italy, Spain and Greece. It is a small herbaceous perennial plant with prostrate habit. It has small, delicate leaves and produces small, star-shaped pink or red flowers. The plant prefers rocky or stony habitats and is considered to be a rare species.


Mountain Sandwort, also known as Minuartia rubella, is a delicate alpine plant that is native to the mountains of Europe, Asia, and North America. This beautiful flower is a member of the Caryophyllaceae family and is well adapted to survive in harsh mountain environments.

The Mountain Sandwort plant typically grows to a height of around 5-10 cm and has slender, branching stems with small, oval-shaped leaves. The flowers of the Mountain Sandwort are small, white, and have five petals that are deeply divided into two lobes. The flowers bloom in late spring and early summer, and can often be seen growing in rocky crevices and other rocky habitats in the high mountains.

One of the most remarkable things about Mountain Sandwort is its ability to survive in extremely harsh environments. This plant is well adapted to living in high altitude, low-nutrient soils, and can tolerate freezing temperatures and strong winds. It is also able to thrive in areas with very little moisture, making it an excellent choice for rock gardens and other arid landscapes.

The Mountain Sandwort plant is also known for its medicinal properties. The plant contains several compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. Some of these compounds are used in traditional medicine to treat a range of ailments, including digestive disorders and respiratory illnesses.

If you are interested in growing Mountain Sandwort in your garden, it is important to keep in mind that this plant requires well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight. It is also important to make sure that the soil is not too wet, as this can cause the roots to rot. The plant can be propagated by seed or by division of existing plants.

Mountain Sandwort is a fascinating and beautiful plant that is well adapted to living in the harsh conditions of high-altitude mountain environments. Whether you are interested in its medicinal properties or simply admire its delicate beauty, this plant is sure to be a welcome addition to any garden.

Mountain Sandwort is also a popular plant among alpine gardeners due to its attractive appearance and hardiness. It is often used in rock gardens, alpine meadows, and as a ground cover in areas with poor soil conditions. It is also commonly used in green roofs and as a landscaping plant in areas with limited space.

This plant has several common names, including Rosy Sandwort, Pink Sandwort, and Red Sandwort. While these names may suggest a different flower color, they all refer to the same plant. The name "rosy" or "pink" may come from the slightly pink hue that some Mountain Sandwort flowers have, while the name "red" may come from the red tint that the plant's leaves can take on in autumn.

While Mountain Sandwort is generally a hardy and low-maintenance plant, it is important to protect it from grazing animals, as they can easily damage or kill the plant. In some areas, Mountain Sandwort is considered a threatened or endangered species due to habitat destruction and overgrazing.

Overall, Mountain Sandwort is a beautiful and fascinating plant that is well-suited to high-altitude environments and makes a great addition to any garden or landscape. Whether you are interested in its medicinal properties, its hardiness, or simply its delicate beauty, this plant is sure to be a welcome addition to any collection.

In addition to being a popular ornamental plant and having medicinal properties, Mountain Sandwort also plays an important role in the ecology of alpine environments. It is an important food source for many insects, including bees and butterflies, and also provides habitat for other small alpine creatures such as marmots and pikas.

The plant's small size and delicate appearance can also be deceiving, as it is incredibly hardy and can survive in extremely harsh conditions. In fact, Mountain Sandwort is so well adapted to alpine environments that it has been known to survive on mountaintops and other high-altitude locations where few other plants can grow.

Mountain Sandwort is a perfect example of how even the smallest and seemingly fragile of plants can be incredibly resilient and well-adapted to their environment. Its beauty and hardiness make it a popular plant among gardeners and hikers alike, and its ecological importance cannot be overstated.

Interestingly, Mountain Sandwort has also been the subject of scientific study in recent years, as researchers seek to better understand its adaptations to high-altitude environments. For example, a study published in the journal "Ecology and Evolution" in 2019 found that Mountain Sandwort has a unique ability to adjust its photosynthetic rate in response to changes in temperature and light, allowing it to conserve resources and survive in harsh environments.

Another study published in the journal "Frontiers in Plant Science" in 2020 looked at the genetic mechanisms underlying Mountain Sandwort's adaptation to high-altitude environments. The study found that the plant has evolved a number of genetic traits that help it cope with low-nutrient soils, extreme temperatures, and other environmental stressors.

These scientific studies and others like them are helping us to better understand the complex adaptations that enable plants like Mountain Sandwort to thrive in harsh alpine environments. As we continue to study and appreciate these fascinating plants, we may be able to apply what we learn to other areas of plant biology and ecology, helping to advance our understanding of the natural world.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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