Herb: Corn Spurrey

Latin name: Spergula arvensis

Family: Caryophyllaceae (Pink Family, Starwort Family)

Medicinal use of Corn Spurrey:

The plant has been used as a diuretic.

Description of the plant:


50 cm
(1 foot)

Habitat of the herb:

Arable land, often as a troublesome weed.

Edible parts of Corn Spurrey:

Leaves and young plants. No more details are given. Seed - cooked. It can be dried and ground into a meal then used with flour for making bread etc. The seed is rich in oil. A famine food, it is only used when all else fails. The seed contains saponins so some caution is advised. See the notes above on toxicity.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring or autumn in situ. Some seed germinates in the autumn in the wild while some germinates in the spring.

Cultivation of Corn Spurrey:

Arable land, often as a troublesome weed.

Known hazards of Spergula arvensis:

The seed, and probably also the leaves, contain saponins. Although toxic, these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm. They are also broken down by thorough cooking. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is advisable not to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.