Latin name: Sagina procumbens

Family:  Caryophyllaceae

Common name:  pearlwort

Life cycle: perennial
Habit:  prostrate to mounding
Foliage: Linear, oppositely arranged.
Flower:  Flowers are small and inconspicuous, and it is generally difficult to distinguish their structures.  They are white in color, with 4 petals.
Seedling:  I have never observed cotyledons on this plant, at least not that I could tell.  Seedlings emerge from soil and with foliage that looks identical to mature foliage.

Roots:  Small pearlwort seedlings already have root systems large enough to escape the effects of herbicides.  Apply preemergence herbicides prior to pearlwort emergence, or thoroughly handweed pearlwort from containers prior to applying pre- herbicides.

Notes:  Pearlwort is often associated with excess water in containers.
Control: View 2003 herbicide trial results for this and other common container weeds.

Notes:  Pearlwort produce an incredible number of small seeds.  Pearlwort also spread as foliage grows across the soil surface and roots at the internodes.

Notes:  Pearlwort is not related to liverwort (other than the fact that they are both plants).  Pearlwort is in the Pink family, and thus closely related to carnations and dianthus.  Pearlwort is a seed-bearing plant, while liverwort is a spore-bearing, primitive plant.  Nonetheless, pearlwort and liverwort are often seen growing in similar conditions (overwatered containers).  

Return to the Weed Species Page

Return to the Weed Management Homepage

Email comments to James Altland