Caryophyllaceae
Arenaria aculeata

Prickly Sandwort

Mat-forming. Stems 2–8 in., upright, with leaves at right angles. Leaves 1/3–1 1/3 in., stiff, narrow, with sharp point and blue waxy coating, hairless. Mat of leaves feels prickly to the touch. Flowers few, contained in loose clusters at stem top on stalks up to 1 in. long. Flower petals rounded. Seedpods oblong, yellow-tan. Grows on rocky ridges, outcrops, volcanic soils, at high elevations. Arenaria capillaris is similar but leaves are often taller than the flowers and thread-like but not sharply pointed.

  • Rarity: Locally Common
  • Flowering Time: Late Spring, Early Summer
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Height: 2--8 inches
  • Habitat: Alpine, Dry Rocky Sites, Subalpine
  • Found In: Steens, Wallowas
  • Native: Yes