Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Minuartia michauxii var. michauxii

with 18 comments

Michaux's Sandwort Flowers 7083

This post’s title is a mouthful. Only a little better are the common names Michaux’s stitchwort and Michaux’s sandwort. One article notes that the plant “is a gorgeous low-growing ground cover for dry, sandy, or rocky soils in full sun from New Hampshire to Virginia, with a disjunct population in the dunes around Lake Michigan.” Sure enough, I took today’s photograph at Illinois Beach State Park on June 7th.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 23, 2016 at 5:00 AM

18 Responses

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  1. It reminded me of mountain pinks as soon as I saw it. Of course it’s not pink, and it doesn’t have those wonderful corkscrew stamens, but the flower is similar in size and shape, and it likes the same sort of neighborhood.

    The BONAP map shows it as native in Texas, present and not rare in roughly the same ArkLaTex area where native roses can be found. I’m beginning to suspect that area of the state might have even more species that you saw in Illinois.


    August 23, 2016 at 8:05 AM

  2. Now I will have to go beaching to look for these. They do make a lovely natural garden. We do have other species hereabouts.

    Steve Gingold

    August 23, 2016 at 7:31 PM

    • Melissa knew this under the genus name Arenaria, which indicates sand (Latin arena), so a beach is a good place to look. Your mention of other species led me to notice that there are some 14 native species of Minuartia.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 23, 2016 at 7:41 PM

  3. I also knew it as Arenaria … such a gentle little plant.

    jane tims

    August 25, 2016 at 9:53 PM

    • Ah, another spectator in the arena. I don’t know when the genus name changed, but there continue to be many changes in botanical names.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 25, 2016 at 10:00 PM

      • I don’t know if it is recommended, but I use The Plant List online which gives names and synonyms and whether or not they are ‘accepted’. Source is the Royal Botanical Garden and Kew.

        jane tims

        August 25, 2016 at 10:10 PM

        • I don’t know who has the ultimate say in nomenclature. Whatever body it is must be kept awfully busy these days, thanks to continuing DNA analysis.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 25, 2016 at 10:13 PM

        • You can’t do better than Kew as a source!


          September 27, 2016 at 9:14 AM

          • As an aside, from growing up in New York, when I hear Kew Gardens my first thought is of the section of Queens with that name:


            Steve Schwartzman

            September 27, 2016 at 9:40 AM

            • That is interesting. Was this somewhere you liked to go?


              September 27, 2016 at 9:43 AM

              • To tell the truth, I barely ever even visited the place. The name is so familiar because of the subway line I took as part of each trip into Manhattan from the suburb on Long Island where I grew up. One of the stations along the way was for Kew Gardens. New York has some elevated “subway” lines, as in Chicago, but the one I regularly traveled wasn’t one of them, so I couldn’t see any part of Kew Gardens as we skirted an edge of it.

                Steve Schwartzman

                September 27, 2016 at 9:51 AM

  4. It was a wonderful year for this little plant. I saw its little bouquets in great abundance all along the dune trail this summer.


    September 27, 2016 at 9:15 AM

    • I’m glad to hear you had a good summer with this little friend along the dune trail. At least I got to see a few specimens.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 27, 2016 at 9:53 AM

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