Spergula arvensis L. - Corn spurrey.


Family Caryophyllaceae Juss., genus Spergula L.


Spergula vulgaris Boenn., Spergula arvensis subsp. vulgaris (Boenn.) O. Schwarz.

Biological group.

Annual seed-propagated weed.

Morphology and biology.

Oily-feeling weed with short taproot and creeping, ramified growth. Cotyledons are very slender, linearly needle-shaped, standing diagonally upward. Foliage leaves are linearly awl-shaped, upper surface arched, underside furrowed, 2-3 cm long, sticky haired, in whorled tufts. Stems are erect or ascending in groups or prostrate, jointly articulated, up to 40 cm high or long. Flower is small, with five white petals and calyx with separate sepals, in terminal, umbellate-like inflorescence. Boll is wide ovate, opens with 5 folds or does not open. Seeds are small, 1-1.8 mm in diameter, black, with narrow brownish margin. Germination period is spring, seed germination depth is 0.5-3 cm. Flowering period is summer-autumn. Seeds per plant are from 1000-10,000.


Almost all of Western Europe, Northern Africa, Northern America, China, India, Japan. Northern and central regions of the European part of the former USSR, the Caucasus, Western and Eastern Siberia, the Far East.


Prefers light, acidic soils with a good supply of water and nitrogen. Is especially abundant in crops during cold and damp years.

Economic value.

Infests all crops, occurs in kitchen gardens, fallow lands, along roadways, near habitation. Weed is stable under average agriculture conditions only. Control measures: inter-row cultivation, harrowing before crop shoots emerge, chemical weeding.

Reference citations:

Anonymous. 1996. Weeds on sugar beet. Berlin: Hoehst Schering AgrEvo GmbH. 392 pp. (In German, English, Russian, Ukrainian)
Mal'tsev A.I. 1939. The atlas of the most important weed species of the USSR. Moscow-Leningrad: Selkhozgiz. V. 2: 14-17.
Nikitin V.V. 1983. Weed plants in the flora of the USSR. Leningrad: Nauka. 179-180 pp.
Shishkin, B.K. 1936. Flora of the USSR. Moscow-Leningrad: Ac. Sc. USSR. V. 6: 725.

© T.D. Sokolova.


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