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Home > Weeds > Chickweed

 

Common chickweed is an annual, while mouseear chickweed is a perennial herb. Both are spreading, mat-forming plants, found in lawns, turf, cultivated fields, roadsides, forests and gardens. Common chickweed can be a serious weed in small grains, but it is an important food for wildlife and is used in orchards and vineyards to control erosion and to maintain consistent soil temperatures.

Common Chickweed—Stellaria media

common chickweed stem of common chickweed flower of common chickweed
Creeping stems root at the nodes. Lower leaves are on long petioles, while upper leaves are without petioles. Leaves are bright light-green, hairless, nearly rounded with pointed tips, and are ½ to 1½ inches long. Flowers occur singly, are ¼ inch across, with 5 white petals so deeply indented that they appear as 10 petals.

Mouseear Chickweed—Cerastium vulgatum, Cerastium fontanum

mouseear chickweed leaves of mouseear chickweed flower of mouseear chickweed
All leaves are without petioles. Entire plant is covered with short white hairs. Leaves are dark grayish-green, oval and covered with soft white hairs, up to ¾ inch long. Flowers have 5 white petals, deeply notched, but not as deeply as common, and usually occur in clusters of 3 at the end of stems.

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Identification and Control Information (each will open in a new window)
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[Photos, left to right: Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org; Rebekah D. Wallace, Bugwood.org; Theodore Webster, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org; Theodore Webster, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org; Theodore Webster, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org; Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California - Davis, Bugwood.org]

 
It is the policy of the State of Maine to minimize reliance on pesticides. The Maine Department of Agriculture and the Maine IPM Council encourage everyone to practice integrated pest management and to use pesticides only as a last resort. The mention of pesticides in the fact sheets linked to these pages does not imply an endorsement of any product. Be sure that any product used is currently registered and follow all label directions.