Common chickweed Stellaria media (L.) Vill.
Family: Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)
Life cycle: Annual (winter and summer)
Native status: Introduced
Habitat: Landscapes, no-till fields, small grains
General description: A prostrate plant with frail stems and egg-shaped, pointed, light green leaves. Leaves arranged opposite. Terminal portion of stem may be erect. Flowers with five deeply notched, white petals. Forms dense patches
Key ID traits: Opposite, pointed leaves. ‘Frail’ plant, leaves easily crushed when handled.
Similar species: The growth habit of mouseear chickweed is similar to common chickweed, but its leaves are covered with dense hairs.
Miscellaneous: Plants in the Pink Family have notched flower petals – pinking shears (cut a zig zag pattern) were named after the family because of this. The family name is believed to have come from the pink flowers of carnations, a member of the family.