Sand Spurge - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Chamaesyce psammogeton
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 13 Mar 1998
Profile last updated: 20 Aug 2018


Sand Spurge is a herb that forms mats to 1 m across. It grows on dunes and sea strandlines. Leaves are smooth, to 30 mm long and 15 mm wide. The tiny flower-heads are surrounded by white leaf-like processes (bracts); each flower-head actually comprises a female flower surrounded by up to five sprays of minute male flowers, hidden in a cup from which the bracts grow. The fruiting capsule is smooth and about 2 mm long.


Sand Spurge is found sparsely along the coast from south of Jervis Bay (at Currarong, Culburra and Seven Mile Beach National Park) to Queensland (and Lord Howe Island). Populations have been recorded in Wamberal Lagoon Nature Reserve, Myall Lakes National Park, Moonee Beach Nature Reserve and Bundjalung National Park.

Habitat and ecology

  • Grows on fore-dunes, pebbly strandlines and exposed headlands, often with Spinifex (Spinifex sericeus) and Prickly Couch (Zoysia macrantha)
  • Flowering recorded in spring and summer.
  • Sand Spurge seeds float, so some dispersal between beaches may occur.
  • Longevity of the species is approximately 5 – 30 years with a primary juvenile period of less than 1 year.
  • Plant growth occurs in spring and summer.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
NSW North CoastCoffs Coast and Escarpment Known within 1 km of coast
NSW North CoastKaruah Manning Known None
NSW North CoastMacleay Hastings Known within 1 km of coast
NSW North CoastYuraygir Known within 1 km of coast
OceanBatemans Shelf Known None
OceanHawkesbury Shelf Known None
OceanManning Shelf Known None
OceanSouth Pacific Ocean Known None
OceanTweed-Moreton Known None
Other StateJervis Bay Territory Predicted None
Pacific Subtropical IslandsLord Howe Island Known within 100 m of coast
South Eastern QueenslandBurringbar-Conondale Ranges Predicted within 1 km of coast
South Eastern QueenslandClarence Lowlands Known within 1 km of coast
South Eastern QueenslandScenic Rim Predicted within 1 km of coast
South Eastern QueenslandSunshine Coast-Gold Coast Lowlands Predicted within 1 km of coast
Sydney BasinCumberland Predicted foredunes and headlands
Sydney BasinHunter Predicted None
Sydney BasinIllawarra Known None
Sydney BasinJervis Known None
Sydney BasinPittwater Known foredunes and headlands
Sydney BasinWyong Known None