Seaside, Oregon’s sprawling beach is home to a number of microclimates, and I happened upon this creeping plant on the south end of the beach amongst the rocks placed there to fight erosion. I’ve not observed it anywhere else on the beach.
According to my source, it enjoys rocky shorelines decorated with plenty of driftwood, which perfectly describes this particular microclimate. In contrast, when you wander north of the U Street entrance, you find soft dunes covered in European seagrass, and rocks are a scarcity.
With its rich, green coloring and slightly glossy leaves, Seabeach Sandwort stood out against the grey rocks in which it grew. Opposite, elliptic leaves with pointed tips grow closely together. On the lower part of the stem, leaves and stems emmerge from apieces every two or three centimeters. Leaf margins are smooth and viens are minimal aside from a faint center vein. Note the purple coloring on the mature parts of the stem.
When I found this plant, it was not in bloom. Hopefully I can collect a specimen of the flower to add to my growing library.
Pojar, J., MacKinnon, A., & Alaback, P. B. (1994). Revised Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska. Redmond, WA: Lone Pine Pub. Page 137.