Arenaria serpyllifolia (squirrel-tail grass, squirrel-tail barley, wild barley, barleygrass, flicker-tail grass, maned barley)

description: annual or biennial

place of origin: Europe, temperate Asia, and North Africa

urban habitat: commonly found in disturbed areas, gravel, cultivated landscapes; thrives sandy and rocky soils in full sun.

ecological function: disturbance-adapted colonizer of bare ground.

history: Arenaria serpyllifolia is widely distributed throughout the world and common in all regions of the US. The exact date of its introduction into North America is unclear. In China and India, the plant has a history of medicinal use to treat cough, fever, tuberculosis, dysentery, bladder aliments, and used as a diuretic. The entire plant is edible and has commonly been used as a pot-herb.