poetry and prose about place

Grove-sandwort (Arenaria lateriflora L.)

with 13 comments

Our summer property is a constant source of learning for me.  Every year I seem to find at least one new plant.  This year the plant is Grove-sandwort (Arenaria lateriflora L.).

Grove-sandwort is a common plant, found in meadows, along shorelines and at the borders of woods.  It is a low-growing herb, first noticeable in June.   The starry, white flowers each have five petals and grow near the top and along the sides of a simple stem.  The leaves are elongated, elliptical, and in pairs.

Arenaria comes from the Latin arena meaning ‘sand’, where many of the members of the genus grow.  The specific name lateriflora means ‘flowering on the side’.

Have you learned to identify any new plants this summer?



new neighbor

Grove-sandwort (Arenaria lateriflora L.)


met her in the meadow

by the split-rail fence

strewing the grove

with flowers


her leaves paired,

clapping hands,

delighted only ‘to be’

a bystander in the arena



©  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

July 25, 2012 at 7:31 am

13 Responses

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  1. It’s fun to discover new plants near you, isn’t it? I like the image of clapping hands.


    Carol Steel

    July 30, 2012 at 9:53 pm

  2. Hi Jane. Delightful poem. It made me smile (and want to clap my hands). I think I might have taken a few photos of this flower while we were traveling up your way. I learned to identify a few while we were there (bunchberry, which was easy). Today I identified the type of thistle that the goldfinches are enjoying (it’s bull thistle). Apparently the roots and young leaves are tasty (provided the spines are removed).



    July 28, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    • Hi Robin. I’ll look into thistle. We have lots here too. I love the photo of the goldfinch eating the thistle-down. Jane


      jane tims

      July 28, 2012 at 8:41 pm

  3. Love, love this poem. I’m not sure that I’ve noticed this flower; I’ll have to look more carefully. You’ve taught the names of many I recognize but couldn’t name. I should send you pictures of a few we’ve started getting in the past few years, including a very tall one that eventually produces multiple flowers that look like orchids. They grow in our stream bed.


    Jane Fritz

    July 26, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    • Hi Jane. I think you do have an orchid of some sort. Many of our orchids are small flowers, arranged up the length of the stem. Send me a photo(s). What you really need is a good field guide. Jane


      jane tims

      July 27, 2012 at 7:21 am

  4. Yes, quite a few things! I love identifying plants I have photographed around our woods and place away.
    Blog friends are a great resource, too.



    July 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    • Hi. You are correct!… I have learned the names of many new plants from various blogs. I think the nicest thing is finding out how familiar plants are found in so many other places, and when they start to bloom in various locations. Jane


      jane tims

      July 25, 2012 at 9:21 pm

  5. Sweet little flowers – they remind me a little of forget-me-nots…


    Barbara Rodgers

    July 25, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    • Hi. At a distance, they are reminiscent of bluets, or any number of small field flowers. I like them because they tuck themselves into little corners of the meadow or roadside. Jane


      jane tims

      July 25, 2012 at 9:18 pm

  6. Hi Jane, I wonder if you could write a post about Chickweed… I know it is supposed to be good for women at a certain time of life (ahemmm) and I don’t know much about it otherwise… what it looks like, how to find it, drying it, etc… so grateful in advance! thanks, SB



    July 25, 2012 at 11:48 am

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