Spring Sandwort

Latin name: Minuartia verna

Family: Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Spring sandwort has a delicate appearance that can look somewhat out of place against the rugged environment of the old lead-mine spoil heaps or limestone scars where it is found in northern England. Also known as 'Vernal sandwort' or 'Leadwort', it is a small tufted perennial with white flowers and can grow to form small pockets or larger carpets of plants.

In the Yorkshire Dales National Park it is fairly frequent on calaminarian grassland which establishes on lead mining spoil. Good examples include Thoralby lead mines and Ballowfield Local Nature Reserve in Wensleydale and near Bastow Wood in Wharfedale. It can also be seen on some short limestone grasslands, rock ledges and limestone scars in the south west of the National Park.

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There is a freshness and at times a undefineable fragrance to the air at high altitude in the Pennines. Joan E. Duncan & R.W.Robson

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