Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

This is one of the more attractive Chickweeds, particularly when it occurs in colonies, because the attractive flowers are produced in great abundance and the foliage is elegant and grass-like. It has a similar appearance to the native Stellaria longifolia (Long-Leaved Stitchwort). However, this latter species has sepals that are without conspicuous veins or hair, and its seeds have a smooth surface. Long-Leaved Stitchwort produces flowers less abundantly than Grass-Leaved Chickweed, and some of its flowers develop from the axils of the leaves. There are many other Stellaria spp. (Chickweeds), as well as Cerastium spp. (Mouse-Eared Chickweeds), but they often have broader leaves and hairier foliage. Another common name for Stellaria graminea is Common Stitchwort.
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Description

This adventive perennial plant is about 1–1½' tall and largely unbranched, except at the apex where the inflorescence occurs. The central stem is glabrous, 4-angled, and rather weak, causing the plant to lean over in the absence of supportive vegetation. The opposite leaves are up to 1½" long and 1/3" across. They are lanceolate-linear or linear, smooth along the margins, sessile, and glabrous, except for a few hairs near the base of the lower leaves. The central stem terminates in a dichotomously branching panicle of cymes. A pair of small green bracts occurs where the panicle branches. Each cyme is rather floppy and consists of 1-3 flowers on slender pedicels. Each flower is about 1/3" across, consisting of a corolla with 5 deeply divided white petals (which can appear to be 10 petals), 10 stamens with brown or reddish brown anthers, a green pistil with 3 styles, and 5 green sepals that are lanceolate. Each sepal has 3 conspicuous veins along its outer surface, which is also somewhat ciliate or pubescent. The petals of the flower are longer than the sepals. The blooming period occurs from late spring to early summer and lasts about a month. An abundance of flowers is normally produced. Each flower is replaced by a straw-colored or light brown seed capsule that contains numerous small seeds. This capsule is ovoid-oblongoid in shape and open at the top, where a few erect teeth occur along the upper rim. Each seed is oval-orbicular and somewhat flattened; its surface is rough and pebbly. The root system consists of a shallow taproot and rhizomes. This plant spreads vegetatively or by reseeding itself, and often forms small colonies. Cultivation
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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Grass-Leaved Chickweed occurs occasionally in scattered counties throughout Illinois (see Distribution Map). It is adventive from Europe. Habitats include old fields, grassy meadows, and roadsides. This plant competes well against Kentucky Bluegrass and similar grass species, but broad-leafed forbs have a tendency to cast too much shade for it to flourish. Grass-Leaved Chickweed is found primarily in disturbed areas.
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Gansu, Hubei, Qinghai, Shandong, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Xizang [Afghanistan, India, Kashmir, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, ?Sikkim; Europe].
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introduced; St. Pierre and Miquelon; B.C., N.B., Nfld. and Labr., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que.; Calif., Colo., Conn., D.C., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., Maine, Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., Mont., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis.; Europe.
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Europe, C. Asia, Himalaya, Siberia, Mongolia, Tibet.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Plants perennial, coarse, rhi-zomatous; rhizomes slender, elongate. Stems decumbent or ascending, straggling, diffusely branched, smoothly 4-angled, 20-90 cm, brittle, glabrous. Leaves sessile; blade linear-lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, widest near base, 1.5-4 cm × 1-6 mm, base round, margins smooth, apex acute, often ciliate near base, otherwise glabrous, not glaucous. Inflorescences terminal, 5-many-flowered, open, conspicuously branched cymes; bracts narrowly lanceolate, 1-5 mm, wholly scarious, margins ciliate, apex acuminate. Pedicels divaricate, 10-30 mm, glabrous. Flowers 5-12 mm diam., rarely larger; sepals 5, distinctly 3-veined, narrowly lanceolate to triangular, 3-7 mm, margins narrow, straight, scarious, apex acute, glabrous; petals 5, 3-7 mm, equaling or longer than sepals; stamens 10, all, some, or none fully developed and fertile; styles 3, ascending, ca. 3 mm. Capsules green or straw colored, narrowly ovoid, 5-7 mm, longer than sepals, apex acute, opening by 3 valves, splitting into 6; carpophore absent. Seeds reddish brown, reniform-rotund, ca. 1 mm diam., rugose in concentric rings. 2n = 39, 52.
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Elevation Range

3000-3200 m
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Description

Herbs perennial, often glabrous. Stems densely tufted, slightly erect, quadrangular, 10--30 cm tall, slender, glabrous or with 2 lines of hairs; sterile branches axillary from proximal leaves present. Leaves sessile, pinkish green, linear to lanceolate, 0.5--4(--5) cm × 1.5--3(--4) mm, basal margin sparsely ciliate, midvein inconspicuous, base slightly narrowed, apex acute. Flowers many or sometimes few, in terminal or axillary cymes, 7--11 mm in diam.; bracts lanceolate, 2(--5) mm, midvein conspicuous, margin membranous. Pedicel 0.5--2.5 cm, to 3.8 cm in fruit, slender. Sepals 5, green, lanceolate or narrowly lanceolate, 4--4.5 mm or longer, shiny, 3-veined, margin membranous, apex acuminate. Petals 5, slightly shorter or longer than sepals, 2-cleft nearly to base. Stamens 10; filaments filiform, glabrous, 4--4.5 mm; anthers brown, broadly ellipsoid, ca. 0.3 mm. Ovary ovoid-oblong; styles 3(or 4), ca. 2 mm. Capsule ovoid-cylindric, much longer than persistent sepals. Seeds black-brown, nearly compressed orbicular, granulose. Fl. May--Jul, fr. Aug--Sep. 2n = 26, 39, 52.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Alsine graminea (Linnaeus) Britton
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Grass-Leaved Chickweed occurs occasionally in scattered counties throughout Illinois (see Distribution Map). It is adventive from Europe. Habitats include old fields, grassy meadows, and roadsides. This plant competes well against Kentucky Bluegrass and similar grass species, but broad-leafed forbs have a tendency to cast too much shade for it to flourish. Grass-Leaved Chickweed is found primarily in disturbed areas.
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Rough grasslands, pastures, hayfields, roadsides; 0-1200m.
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Forests, forest margins, grasslands, grassy slopes, rock crevices; 1400--4000(--4200) m.
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Associations

Faunal Associations

The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract small bees and flies primarily. The caterpillars of several moth species feed on the foliage of Chickweeds, including Agrostis venerabilis (Venerable Dart), Lobocleta ossularia (Drab Brown Wave), and Haematopis grataria (Chickweed Geometer). Mourning Doves and various sparrows occasionally eat the seeds of Chickweeds, while rabbits eat the foliage. Photographic Location
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Foodplant / parasite
hypophyllous telium of Melampsorella caryophyllacearum parasitises live leaf of Stellaria graminea
Other: minor host/prey

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / pathogen
embedded sorus of Microbotryum stellariae infects and damages live anther of Stellaria graminea

Foodplant / spot causer
numerous, fuscous pycnidium of Septoria coelomycetous anamorph of Mycosphaerella isariophora causes spots on live/fading stem of Stellaria graminea
Remarks: season: 5-10

Foodplant / spot causer
synnema of dematiaceous Phacellium anamorph of Phacellium episphaerium causes spots on live leaf of Stellaria graminea

Foodplant / parasite
hypophyllous telium of Puccinia arenariae parasitises live leaf of Stellaria graminea

Plant / resting place / on
female macropter of Tmetothrips subapterus may be found on live Stellaria graminea
Remarks: season: 7

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering late spring-early summer.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Stellaria graminea

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Stellaria graminea

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 9
Specimens with Barcodes: 15
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: TNR - Not Yet Ranked

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Wikipedia

Stellaria graminea

Stellaria graminea is a species of flowering plant in the Caryophyllaceae family (like pinks) known by the common names grassleaf starwort and common stitchwort.[1] It is native to Eurasia but it is widespread around other parts of the temperate world as an introduced species and a common weed.[2] It grows in many types of habitat, including lawns and roadsides. It is a rhizomatous perennial herb producing branching stems which are prostrate, sprawling, trailing, or erect, and reach up to about 90 centimeters long. The stems are four-angled, weak, and hairless. It is lined with pairs of linear or lance-shaped leaves, each 1–4 centimetres (0.39–1.6 in) long. The leaves are smooth-edged and hairless except for some hairs lining the bases. The inflorescence bears several flowers, each on a short pedicel. The flower has five pointed green sepals each a few millimeters long which are usually lined with hairs. There are five white petals, each so deeply lobed it appears to be two. The seeds are reddish brown in colour and are 1 millimetre (0.039 in) in diameter.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stellaria graminea L. Grassleaf starwort". USDA. PLANTS Profile. Retrieved June 18, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Stellaria graminea". GRIN Species Profile. Retrieved June 18, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Stellaria graminea". Flora of North America 5. EFlora. Retrieved June 18, 2007. 
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Notes

Comments

In Europe, both diploid and tetraploid cytotypes of Stellaria graminea occur with occasional triploid hybrids. Only the tetraploid form has been found in North America, except for a triploid colony in Newfoundland. This species is often confused with S. longifolia but differs in its stems, which are very angular, glabrous, and not scabrid; the narrowly triangular leaves on the flowering stems; the smooth leaf margins; the stiff, triangular, prominently 3-veined sepals; and the larger, rugulose seeds.  

The sterile overwintering shoots of Stellaria graminea have broader elliptic to elliptic-lanceolate leaf blades measuring 5-15 × 1.5-4 mm. They are broadest near the middle. This state of the plant has been named var. latifolia Petermann. Usually S. graminea has perfect flowers but occasionally plants that are entirely staminate-sterile are encountered. The flowers in these are partially fertile depending on the occurrence of cross- pollination.

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