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Statewide IPM Program, University of California

Birdseye pearlwort  (Sagina procumbens)

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Life stages of Birdseye pearlwort mature plants infesting turf flowers and foliage rosette

Birdseye pearlwort is a native perennial broadleaf plant that resembles moss and usually requires a disturbance to establish. It is commonly found inhabiting roadsides, nursery containers, sidewalk cracks, and other disturbed areas—usually on wet gravelly to sandy soil in the coastal areas. It is also found in areas of moist, frequently irrigated turf. It grows year-round, and is often sold as a groundcover for landscapes.

Mature plant

Prostrate to ascending stems are up to about 7 inches (18 cm) in length. Stems root at joints (nodes) and form a mat. Leaves are narrow, hairless, and have pointed tips. They are opposite to one another along the stem, but may appear to be arranged in whorls around the stem.


Small flowers have four or sometimes five delicate white petals, or sometimes no petals at all. Petals, when present, are difficult to see with the naked eye. At the flowering stage, the plant is usually a rosette of leaves at the base that do not develop a flowering stem.


Fruits consist of small capsules on fruit stalks that typically curve downward. Seeds are spread by water splash.

Related or similar plants

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