Common chickweed

Encyclopedia Article

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.

Common chickweed has opposite, egg-shaped leaves with pointed tips.

flowers have 5 (five) deeply-notched, white petals
Flowers have 5 (five) deeply-notched, white petals