This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The habitat of this plant is sandy and waste places, usually near the sea, pastures, walls, etc. The habit is branched. The plant is clammy. The stems are cymose from the base. The leaves are egg-shaped, oblong, the radical leaves inversely egg-shaped to lance-shaped, the stem-leaves broader upwards. The bracts are herbaceous, broad, oval, acute, blunt-pointed, leaflike. The sepals are clammy, 4-5, lance-shaped, acute, the tips and margins narrowly membranous, glandular. The petals are notched, with branched veins. The capsule is straight, slightly longer than the calyx. The fruit-stalks are 2-4 times as long as the capsule, erect at length. The plant is 1-10 in. high, flowering from May to July, and is a herbaceous annual.
The habitat of this species is maritime places (hence maritima), sandy seashores. The habit is prostrate or ascending. The plant is hairless. The central stem is long, forked, erect, with ascending branches, producing flowers, purple, brittle, slender, with long internodes. The leaves are fleshy, blunt, blunt-pointed, rounded at the back, linear. The sepals are blunt, concave, the tips bent inward, as long as the capsule, somewhat spreading at length, nearly erect in fruit. The flower-stalk is erect. The plant is 1-6 in. high, flowering between July and September, and is a herbaceous annual.
The habitat of this plant is sea-coasts. The habit is as in the other species of British Sea Spurrey. The leaves are not fleshy, and there is no basal rosette of leaves. The stipules are broadly triangular, dull-yellow, white. The flowers are pink. The capsule is not longer than the sepals. The plant is from 3-5 in. in height, and is in flower in June and July, being a herbaceous annual.
The habitat of this plant is sea-coasts. The habit is prostrate. The plant is more or less downy. The rootstock is scarcely woody, flattened, small, the branches stout. The leaves are long, fleshy, flat, half-cylindrical, long, and narrow-pointed. The bracts are short, entire, dark, triangular, egg-shaped, leaflike. The flower-stalks are shorter than the bracts. The petals are pink with a white base, not so long as the calyx. The stamens are less than 10. The capsule is longer than the calyx, and as long as the fruit-stalks. The seeds are round, with thickened border, or flattened at the border, or with a broad, membranous wing, pale-brown. The plant is 4-12 in. long, flowering from June to September, and is a herbaceous annual or biennial.
The habitat of this plant is maritime places, muddy salt-marshes. The habit is prostrate. The rootstock is scarcely woody, slender, the branches stout, flattened at the border. The leaves are long, half-round, fleshy, blunt, more or less acute, smooth. The bracts are entire, broadly triangular. The flowers are pale-pink with a white base, as long as the sepals. The flower-stalks are long. The capsule is large, twice as long as the calyx, not half as long as the fruit-stalk. The seeds are reddish, rounded, smooth, with thickened borders, and a broad, membranous wing. The plant is 4-15 in. in height, flowering between June and September, and is a herbaceous biennial or perennial.
The habitat of this plant is rocky places near the sea. The plant is in habit like 5. media (also maritime). It is glandular, downy. The rootstock is thick, woody. The stem is round in section. The leaves are tufted, short, flat or half-cylindrical, fleshy, pointed, downy. The stipules are broadly ovate, prolonged, more or less entire. The flowers are pale-pink, the petals are longer than the calyx. There are 10 stamens. The capsule is large - equal to, or longer than, the calyx, half to two-thirds shorter than the fruit-stalks. The seeds are flattened, pear-shaped, with a thick border. The plant is 4-12 in. high, flowering from May to September, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this species is S.W. coasts of S.W. England, and waste places in the Channel Islands where it is more common. The habit is prostrate. The lower leaves are 4 in a whorl (hence tetraphyllum), those on the branches opposite, inversely egg-shaped, and in young plants the leaves are often all opposite. The flowers are triandrous in crowded clusters, the petals notched. The capsules are numerous (hence Polycarpon). The plant is 2-8 in. high, flowering between May and July, and is a herbaceous annual.