Chickweed, Common (Stellaria media)

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Table of Contents

  1. History
  2. Life Cycle
  3. Distinguishing Characteristics
  4. Control in Corn
  5. Control in Soybeans
  6. Control in Winter Wheat

History

Occurs in a wide range of habitats ranging from lawns and field crops to the floor of deciduous forests. Common chickweed is one of the widest spread weed species in Ontario

Life Cycle

Annual or winter annual reproducing by seed and by horizontally spreading leafy stems that root at the nodes. Common chickweed will flower throughout the spring, summer and fall. One plant can produce between 10,000 to 20,000 seeds. Seeds will germinate at a depth of 1-2 cm.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of common chickweed is the single lengthwise line of fine white hair on one side of the stem but switching sides above and below each node. Stems are prostrate to semi-erect. The leaves are opposite (2 per node), oval with pointed tips and smooth or slightly hairy. The flower of common chickweed is small with 5 "two lobed" white petals, which give the appearance of 10 tiny petals (for more information, see Page 73 in OMAF Publication 505 - Ontario Weeds

Common Chickweed Pictures
Each thumbnail image links to a larger image

Link to larger photo of Common Chickweed
Link to larger photo of Common Chickweed

Herbicide Control in Field Corn

A number of corn herbicides provide excellent control of common chickweed (Table 1). Atrazine provides the most cost-effective control.

Table 1. Common chickweed control in corn using various herbicides
Active Ingredient Trade Name (application timing)
% Control
atrazine numerous products exists (pre or post)
99
dicamba BANVEL II (post)
99
mesotrione CALLISTO (post)
99
isoxaflutole/atrazine CONVERGE (pre)
99
diflufenzopyr/dicamba DISTINCT (post)
99
dicamba/atrazine MARKSMAN (pre or post)
99
bromoxynil + atrazine PARDNER or KORIL + atrazine (post)
99
prosulfuron/dicamba PEAKPLUS (post)
99
primisulfuron/dicamba SUMMIT (post)
99
2,4-D/atrazine SHOTGUN (post
99
Postharvest Control

Post harvest control of common chickweed is advantageous particularly under heavy populations because chickweed can be a host to a number of non-beneficial insects (i.e. wireworm) and will also keep soil conditions cool and wet, which may delay spring planting. Amitrol and glyphosate are two products that can be applied in the fall, and will give good control the following spring (Table 2). Refer to the product label for specific planting periods after applying Amitrol 240.

Table 2.Spring control of common chickweed using post harvest applications of glyphosate and amitole in the previous fall
Active Ingredient Trade Name (rate/acre)
% Control
amitrole AMITROL 240 (1L/ac)
99
glyphosate Numerous products exist (1 L/ac)
99
glyphosate Numerous products exist (0.5 L/ac)
96
amitrole AMITROL 240 (0.5 L/ac)
95

Source:
Dr. Peter Sikkema, Ridgetown College, University of Guelph.

Number of Trials:

Table 1 based on a summary of 1 field trial in corn.
Table 2 based on a summary of 1 field trial.

Herbicide Rates:
Rates used in this trial are listed in OMAF Publication 75 - Guide to Weed Control.

Weed Stage:
Common chickweed was at the 2 to 20+ leaf stage (5 to 20 cm in height) at the time of application.

What has been your experience?
We want your feedback. Let us know what you have experienced with these or other products, as well as any other effective management strategies.


Herbicide Control in Soybeans

No Ontario field trials have evaluated pre or post-emergent control options in soybean. A pre-plant application of glyphosate or amitrol (AMITROLE 240) should provide season long control of chickweed provided the soybean crop canopies quickly. Please note that with amitrole, a pre-plant interval of 7 days is required. Refer to the product label for more specific information.

Field experience has indicated that imazethapyr (PURSUIT) and metribuzin (SENCOR) will provide control of common chickweed

What has been your experience?
We want your feedback. Let us know what you have experienced with these or other products, as well as any other effective management strategies.


Herbicide Control in Winter Wheat

Field experiments conducted by Peter Sikkema have shown that Refine Extra (thifensulfuron-methyl/tribenuron-ethyl) is the only product that will give adequate control of common chickweed in winter wheat (Table 1).

Table 1. Common chickweed control in winter wheat using various post-emergent herbicides
Active Ingredient Trade Name (application timing)
% Control
thifensulfuron-methyl/tribenuron-ethyl REFINE EXTRA (post)
97
dichlorprop/2,4-D DICHLROPROP D, ESTAPROP or TURBOPROP
37
dicamba/MCPA/mecoprop SWORD or TARGET (post)
35
MCPA MCPA AMINE (post)
34
bromoxynil/MCPA BUCTRIL M (post)
15
2,4-D Amine Numerous products exist (post)
12
Postharvest Control

Post harvest control of common chickweed is advantageous particularly under heavy populations because chickweed can be a host to a number of non-beneficial insects (i.e. wireworm) and will also keep soil conditions cool and wet, which may delay spring planting. Amitrol and glyphosate are two products that can be applied in the fall, and will give good control the following spring (Table 2). Refer to the product label for specific planting periods after applying Amitrol 240.

Table 2. Spring control of common chickweed using post harvest applications of glyphosate and amitole in the previous fall
Active Ingredient Trade Name (rate/acre)
% Control
amitrole AMITROL 240 (1L/ac)
99
glyphosate Numerous products exist (1 L/ac)
99
glyphosate Numerous products exist (0.5 L/ac)
96
amitrole AMITROL 240 (0.5 L/ac)
95

Source:
Dr. Peter Sikkema, Ridgetown College, University of Guelph.

Number of Trials:

Table 1 based on a summary of 4 field trials in winter wheat.
Table 2 based on a summary of 1 field trial.

Herbicide Rates:
Rates used in this trial are listed in OMAF Publication 75 - Guide to Weed Control.

Weed Stage:
Common chickweed was at the 2 to 20+ leaf stage (5 to 20 cm in height) at the time of application.

What has been your experience?
We want your feedback. Let us know what you have experienced with these or other products, as well as any other effective management strategies.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Local: (519) 826-4047
Email: ag.info@omaf.gov.on.ca