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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Mouse-eared Chickweed

Scientific Name: Cerastium fontanum Baumg. ssp. triviale (Link) Jalas

Other Names: céraiste vulgaire, céraiste commun, Cerastium vulgatum L.

Family: Pink Family (Caryophyllaceae)

General Description: Annual or more usually perennial, reproducing by seed and by horizontal stems which root at the nodes and form dense patches.

Habitat: Mouse-eared chickweed is common throughout Ontario and occurs in almost any kind of habitat including gardens, lawns, fields, pastures, meadows, wet depressions, rock outcrops, dry sandy areas, and under moist woods. It is one of the most common and persistent weeds of lawns and occasionally is thick enough to be troublesome in gardens and fields.



  • Nearly prostrate
  • As much as 50 cm (2 ft) long
  • Short upright branches, or stems erect if growing amongst taller plants
  • Densely but very finely hairy
  • Soft
  • Often slightly sticky to the touch
  • Dark green
  • Round in cross-section with swollen nodes


  • Opposite (2 per node)
  • Stalkless
  • Ovate (1- 2 cm, 2/5- 4/5 in.) long
  • Pointed tips
  • Covered with hair up to 2 mm (1/12 in.) long (hence the name "mouse-eared")


  • White
  • Compact groups or spreading out with long branches and flower stalks up to 12 mm (½ in.) long
  • 5 sepals:
    • Green
    • Hairy
    • About as long as the 5 white, deeply notched petals
    • 4- 6 mm (1/6- ¼ in.) long
  • Seedpod:
    • Cylindrical and straight or slightly curved
    • 8- 10 mm (1/3- 2/5 in.) long
    • Light or straw-coloured
    • Opening at the end with 10 small teeth
    • Releasing many seeds
  • Seeds:
    • Tiny
    • Reddish-brown
    • Roundish to 4-sided
    • About 0.75 mm (1/30 in.) long
  • Flowering and seed-set continue from late spring until freeze-up in autumn

Often Confused With
Other Chickweeds
Grass-leaved Stitchwort
Thyme-leaved Sandwort (Mouse-eared chickweed is distinguished by its distinctly hairy stem and stalkless leaves covered with long hair on both surfaces, and its cylindrical, light-coloured seedpods).

Mouse eared chickweed Mouse eared chickweed Mouse eared chickweed seedling
Click to enlarge.