Scientific Name: Corrigiola litoralis (Caryophyllaceae).
English Name: Strapwort (Carnation family).
French Name: Corrigiole des grèves (='little shoelace of the shingle').
5 Key Characters:
- found on gravel river banks.
- a tiny inconspicuous plant.
- tiny white flowers.
- grows as a flat rosette.
Habitat: Sandy gravel banks in lowland rivers with fluctuating water levels (exposed in summer, flooded in winter). Farm tracks, rural footpaths. Requires the habitat to be disturbed (eg by cattle trampling).
Flowering Period: June-July-August-September.
Status: Uncommon. Can be threatened if water levels stabilised, or if plants such as Common Reed Phragmites australis or Common Nettle Urtica dioica take over the habitat. It can't compete with other taller plants in the vicinity. Its presence on the Loire River sands reflects the river's connection with the Atlantic seabord.
Photographed by Loire Valley Nature: