Plant of the Month for March 2014

Arenaria tetraquetra

Description and General Information:

Spanish sandwort, Arenaria tetraquetra, is a hummock-forming alpine with partially evergreen foliage. Plants may reach a few centimeters in height and up to 30 cm in diameter. The leaves are paired, somewhat triangular and densely overlap along the stems.  The leaf edges are often white with lime encrustation. The flowers are solitary, white, held just above the foliage and up to 1 centimeter in diameter.  They may have four (common) or five (uncommon) petals.

This species is endemic to Spain, primarily found on dry rocky limestone screes of the Pyrenees, growing at an elevation of 1500-3200 m.


This species requires full sun and a well-drained, gritty soil, preferably in soil with a higher pH.  They are susceptible to rot if exposed to winter-wet.  It makes an ideal candidate for a larger trough.  It is considered hardy through USDA zone 4, if kept sufficiently dry in winter.

Blooming Period:

Late May to early June


Cuttings (commonly); seed (uncommon)


Seeds are rarely produced in cultivation, thus are difficult to obtain. On the off-chance you can obtain seed, they may be direct sown at 20 C and should germinate within a few weeks.


Not generally practiced.


Cuttings taken in early-mid summer will root in pure sand within a few weeks.

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