Details of...
Scientific Name: Sagina subulata
Pronunciation: suh-JYE-nuh sub-you-LAY-tuh
Common Name: Irish moss, pearlwort
Family Name: Caryophyllaceae
Plant Type: Ground cover, Herbaceous perennial
Key ID Features: Low-growing prostrate perennial plant forming a thick, dense mat, stems < 10 cm long; leaves opposite, slender subulate (awl-shaped), to 1 cm long; flowers solitary, 4–5 mm wide, five white petals as long as the green sepals; capsules 2.5–3 mm long, seeds triangular shaped, 0.4–0.5 mm, brown and smooth.
Course(s): HORT 1155, Level 3 Apprenticeship

Habit: Dense, Spreading
Form: Creeping / Mat-like
Texture: Fine
Mature Size:
Height:< 0.1m
Spread:0.1 - 0.3m
Growth Rate:Slow
Origin: Europe
Hardiness Rating: Zone 3: (-40 to -34 C)
Exposure: Full sun
Soil/ Growing Medium: Well-drained
Water Use: Low
Landscape Uses: Accent plant, Alpine, Container planting, Ground cover, Rock garden, Small garden/space
Additional Info: Google. Cultivars shown or on campus include S. ‘Aurea’ (yellowish leaf colour). Compare to Scotch moss, moss sandwort (very similar but the florets are arranged in cymes).
Irish moss, pearlwort
Leaf Morphology: Glossary
Form: Needle-like, Simple
Arrangement: Opposite
Texture/ Venation: Soft flexible
Surfaces: Glandular hairs
Colour in Fall: Green
Leaf(let) Terms:
Shapes: Linear
Apices: Acute
Margins: Entire

Inflorescence Type: Floriferous, Flowers solitary
Flower Morphology:Flowers perfect
Number of Petals:5
Corolla Shape:Rotate/stellate
Ovary Position:Superior
Colour (petals): Showy, White
Flower Scent: None
Flower Time at Peak: May, Jun, Jul
Additional Info: Scotch moss has florets arranged in cymes

Fruit Type: Capsule
Fruit Colour: Brown, Green
Fruiting Time: Jul, Aug
Additional Info: Not showy

Bark or Stem Colour:

Propagation: Seed, Division - above ground parts
Plant Care:
Pest Susceptibility: Leaf scorch, Slugs or snails,
(FEA) Field lab Equipment Area
(HPZ) Horticulture PlaZa
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