Largeleaf sandwort (Moehringia macrophylla)

Largeleaf sandwort flower
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Largeleaf sandwort fact file

Largeleaf sandwort description

GenusMoehringia (1)

The largeleaf sandwort (Moehringia macrophylla) is a small, delicate plant of North American forests (2). It may grow as a short, dense, mat-like plant, or may be taller and more open (3). Its stem is square or round in cross section, and often grooved, and is sometimes branched. Lance-shaped leaves are evenly spaced along the stem and measure 1.5 to 5 centimetres in length, decreasing in size towards the top of the plant (4) (5). The leaves have smooth to slightly bumpy margins (4)

The flowers of the largelaf sandwort may occur singly on short stalks near the top of the stem, or may be clustered in groups of two to five in a fairly open inflorescence (4) (5). The flowers are small and have five sharply-pointed sepals and five white, rounded petals of approximately the same size as the sepals (5).

Also known as
large-leaf sandwort, large-leafed sandwort.

Largeleaf sandwort biology

Very little is known about the biology and reproduction of the largeleaf sandwort. However, it flowers between late spring and early summer (5)

Like other sandworts, the largeleaf sandwort is a perennial species, and is able to produce new shoots from creeping underground stems known as ‘rhizomes(4) (6).


Largeleaf sandwort range

The largeleaf sandwort is found across much of northern and western North America (6).


Largeleaf sandwort habitat

The largeleaf sandwort grows in moist, shaded forests, including pine and oak forests, and on open, rocky slopes and summits at low to high elevations (4) (5).


Largeleaf sandwort status

The largeleaf sandwort has yet to be classified by the IUCN.


Largeleaf sandwort threats

The largeleaf sandwort is listed as ‘Endangered’ in Wisconsin, Connecticut and Massachusetts, and as ‘Threatened’ in Michigan and Minnesota (6). It is considered to be rare in some of its range, in part due to its restricted habitat requirements (2). However, very little is known about its conservation status and the threats it faces, and this species has yet to be assessed by the IUCN (7).


Largeleaf sandwort conservation

There are no known specific conservation measures currently in place for the largeleaf sandwort.


Find out more

Find out more about the largeleaf sandwort:



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The reproductive shoot of a plant, which bears a group or cluster of flowers.
Plants that live for at least three seasons; after an initial period they produce flowers once a year.
An underground, horizontal plant stem that produces roots and shoots.
A leaf-like, usually green part of the protective outer layer of a flower bud.


  1. GBIF Portal (July, 2011)
  2. Coffin, B. and Pfannumuller, L. (1988) Minnesota's Endangered Flora and Fauna. University of Minnesota Press, Minnesota.
  3. Munz, P.A. (2004) Introduction to California Spring Wildflowers. University of California Press, California.
  4. University of California, Berkeley: The University and Jepson Herbaria (July, 2011)
  5. Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest - Big-leaf sandwort (July, 2011)
  6. U.S. Department of Agriculture - Moehringia macrophylla (July, 2011)
  7. IUCN Red List (July, 2011)

Image credit

Largeleaf sandwort flower  
Largeleaf sandwort flower

© Keir Morse

Keir Morse


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