Skip to content.
Fran├žais

Some features of this website require Javascript to be enabled for best usability. Please enable Javascript to run.

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

COMMON CHICKWEED

Scientific Name: Stellaria media (L.) Vill.

Other Names: Stellaire moyenne, mouron des oiseaux

Family: Pink Family (Caryophyllaceae)

General Description: Annual or winter annual, reproducing by seed and by horizontally spreading leafy stems which root at the nodes.

Habitat: Chickweed occurs throughout Ontario in a wide variety of habitats and soil textures. It is one of the most common weeds in lawns but is equally at home in gardens, cultivated fields, pastures, waste areas and even under deciduous forests.

Seedlings

Stems

  • Prostrate, spreading or nearly erect
  • Much branched
  • 5- 50 cm (2- 20 in.) long
  • Soft
  • Delicate
  • Bright green
  • Swollen nodes
  • Smooth except for a single narrow lengthwise line (1 mm, 1/25 in. wide) of fine white hair on 1 side of each branch
  • Line of hair alternates from 1 side of the branch to the other on successive internodes
  • Stems rooting from nodes which touch the ground, plant spreading by this means to form dense, matted patches

Leaves

  • Opposite (2 per node)
  • Stalked near the base, stalkless near ends of branches
  • Blades oval with pointed tips
  • Smooth or slightly hairy

Flowers

  • Small
  • Petals white, shorter than the 3- 4 mm (1/8- 1/6 in.) long green sepals
  • 5, 2-lobed petals (so may appear to have 10 tiny petals)
  • Produced at tips of stems and in angles between branches
  • Seedpod somewhat egg-shaped, about as long as or slightly longer than the sepals
  • Tip splits into 6 tiny teeth and releases reddish-brown, somewhat spherical seeds (1.2 mm, 1/20 in.) in diameter
  • May start blooming in early spring and produce flowers and seeds throughout the growing season

Often Confused With
Mouse-eared chickweed (Mouse-eared chickweed is a perennial with distinctly hairy leaves and stems that root at the nodes.)

Anthracnose on berries

Anthracnose on berries

Anthracnose on berries

Anthracnose on berries

Anthracnose on berries

Anthracnose on berriesClick to enlarge.