Arctic Sandwort. Arenaria norvegica subspecies norvegica.

Courtesy of Mike Pennington {national geographic} CC BY-SA 2.0 License.

Arctic Sandwort (Arenaria norvegica) - geograph.org.uk - 723135.jpg


In this series we review the plants that are placed on the UK Red List of conservation concern. The criteria for addition on the list is that the species has declined in numbers/distribution by over 50% in the last sixty years or so. here in part nine of the series we review the Arctic sandwort.

General information and description.

Arenaria norvegica is also known as the Arctic, English or Norwegian Sandwort, a low growing plant of the Pink family Caryophyllaceae, found in northwest Europe. There are two recognized subspecies Arenaria norvegia subspecies anglica and A.norvegia ssp norvegica.

Arenaria norvegica subspecies anglica is confined to the limestone regions in the Yorkshire Dales UK.

Arenaria norvegica Ssp norvegica  is found in west and northwest Scotland and Shetland Isles, Western Ireland Scandinavia and Iceland.. it is the latter subspecies under review. This species is a perennial herb producing many non-flowering shoots. The leaves are Obovate and the flowers have five white petals and three to five styles.

Arctic sandwort.

Courtesy of Neal Herbert  National Park Service {USA}.  Public Domain.Arenaria norvegica & moth (8029746198).jpg


Conservation issues and species action plan UK.

Because this is a Red Listed species  there has been a Species Action Plan {SAP}. formulated and currently being implemented on the behalf of the species . Here are some of the actions required as identified by experts when the plan was formulated.

1/- Undertake research to determine the dramatic population fluctuations over the last few years including whether there is a link to grazing by sheep and deer.

2/- To reduce grazing to appropriate levels at sites where a detrimental affect has been demonstrated. By means of Priority Habitat Action Plan.

3/-To evaluate the effectiveness ground disturbance trial planned on the Keen of Hamar to see if this stimulates the germination of dormant seeds and to undertake them at other sites if they prove successful.

The priority habitats for species are Lowland calcareous grassland and Upland calcareous grassland.

The status of this plant in the UK is Nationally Rare.{2007}

It is hoped that the Species Action Plan  will save this species from the prospects of becoming extinct in the future.


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In this series---

Red list UK plants-1 {Pheasant's eye.}

Red List -Man Orchid. 

Ground Pine -3

A Lady's mantle -4


Pyramidal bugle -5

Ribbon-leaved water plantain-6

Creeping Marshwort- 7

Tower Mustard-8 


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