Articles on this page are available in 1 other language: Spanish (1) (learn more)

Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Chickweed occurs either as an annual species or as a short-lived perennial (3), and produces several generations a year, each one flowering after just 5 weeks of growth (1). It can remain green and often in flower throughout winter (4). The flowers are visited by many small flies and bees (2). A single plant may produce around 2,500 reddish-brown seeds, which can remain viable in the soil for 25-40 years (1). Common chickweeds is highly prized as a food for poultry and cage-birds, and even for humans in small quantities as a vegetable of stir-fries and salads (4).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

Common chickweed is a very common weed (3). It is extremely variable in its appearance, but generally it has a very slender tap root and greatly branching leafy stems, which lie along the ground (2). The lower leaves vary in size from 3 to 20 mm in length, they are oval in shape and have long stalks; the upper leaves tend to be larger (up to 25 mm in length) and lack stalks. Many small, white flowers are produced; the stamens have reddish-violet anthers (2).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Comprehensive Description

Description

Annual herb with decumbent or ascending stems, 5-40 cm. Lower leaves: petiole c.1.5 cm; lamina c.1 × 1 cm, ovate; base sometimes ± cordate; upper ± sessile, usually larger, ovate or broadly elliptic. Petals slightly shorter than the sepals, white; apex deeply 2-fid, so that there almost appears to be 10 petals rather than 5.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Comments

This is probably the best known Chickweed in Illinois, although it can be confused with other species. The Chickweeds fall into 2 large groups
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

This adventive annual plant produces stems about ½–1' long that usually sprawl across the ground. It branches abundantly near the base, but very little toward the tips of the stems. The somewhat succulent stems are green or burgundy; they often have lines of white hairs. Pairs of opposite leaves occur at intervals along these stems. These leaves become larger toward the tips of the stems, spanning ½–1" in length and ¼–½" across. The leaves toward the base of the plant usually have short petioles that are slightly hairy, while the leaves near the tip of each stem are usually sessile. Each leave is more or less ovate, smooth along the margins, and hairless on the upper surface; the lower surface is occasionally hairy. Individual flowers occur from the axils of the outer pairs of leaves, while the stems terminate in small cymes of white flowers. Each flower is about ¼" across, consisting of 5 white bifid petals (appearing to be 10 petals), 5 green sepals, 3 white styles, 2-10 stamens, and a green ovary in the center. The sepals are lanceolate, hairy on the outer surface, and longer than the petals; each sepal is at least 1/8" long (about 3-5 mm.). The slender pedicels are finely pubescent. The blooming period occurs during the spring for plants that are winter annuals, and during the summer or fall for plants that are summer annuals. A typical plant will bloom sporadically for 1-2 months. Each flower is replaced by a seed capsule that is light brown with 6 small teeth along its upper rim; it contains several seeds. Each mature seed is dark reddish brown, somewhat flattened, and nearly orbicular; its surface has tiny pebbles. The root system is shallow and fibrous. This plant spreads by reseeding itself; it can also spread vegetatively by rooting at the leaf nodes along the stems.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Western Ghats & Eastern Ghats, Naturalized, Native of Mediterranean Region"
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Brief

Flowering class: Dicot Habit: Herb
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Worldwide distribution

A cosmopolitan weed
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Common Chickweed occurs in every county of Illinois and is quite common. It is native to Eurasia. Habitats include woodland areas prone to flooding, thickets, cropland and fallow fields, lawns and gardens, nursery plots, areas adjacent to buildings, and miscellaneous waste areas. While this species occurs to a limited extent in natural habitats, it prefers areas with a history of disturbance.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

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

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

"Maharashtra: Kolhapur, Pune, Satara, Thane Karnataka: Chikmagalur, Coorg, Mysore, N. Kanara Kerala: Idukki Tamil Nadu: Coimbatore, Dindigul, Nilgiri, Salem, Theni"
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

"
Global Distribution

Cosmopolitan

Indian distribution

State - Kerala, District/s: Idukki

"
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution in Egypt

Mediterranean region.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Global Distribution

Cosmopolitan.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

introduced; Greenland; St. Pierre and Miquelon; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr., N.W.T., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask., Yukon; Ala., Alaska, Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Utah, Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.; Europe.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range

Widespread and common throughout Britain, common chickweed is a cosmopolitan species (2); it has become naturalised in North America, and is now found around the world (3).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Plants annual or winter annual, green, with slender taproot. Stems decumbent or ascending, diffusely branched, 4-sided, 5-40 cm, with single line of hairs along each internode. Leaves petiolate (proximal) or ± sessile (distal); blade usually green, ovate to broadly elliptic, 0.5-4 cm × 2-20 mm, base round to cuneate, margins entire, apex acute or shortly acuminate, ± glabrous or ciliate at base. Inflorescences terminal, 5-many-flowered cymes; bracts ovate and shortly acuminate to lanceolate-acute, 1-40 mm, herbaceous. Pedicels ascending, usually straight, deflexed at base in fruit, 3-40 mm, usually with line of hairs. Flowers 2-5 mm diam.; sepals 5, with obscure midrib, ovate-lanceolate, 4.5-5(-6) mm, margins narrow, scarious, apex obtuse, usually glandular-hairy; petals absent or 5, 1-4 mm, shorter than to equaling sepals; stamens 3-5(-8); anthers red-violet; styles 3, outwardly curved, becoming curled, 0.5-1 mm. Capsules green to straw colored, ovoid-oblong, 3-5 mm, somewhat longer than sepals, apex obtuse, opening by 6 valves; carpophore absent. Seeds reddish brown, broadly reniform to round, 0.9-1.3 mm diam., with obtuse, round, or flat-topped (broader than tall) tubercles. 2n = 40, 42, 44.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

Herbs annual, biennial, or perennial. Stems decumbent or ascending, pale purplish, 10--30 cm tall, sparsely branched at base, with 1(or 2) lines of hairs. Basal leaves long petiolate, distal leaves sessile or shortly petiolate; leaf blade broadly ovate to ovate-orbicular, 0.8--2.5 × (0.5--)1--1.5 cm, base narrowed or cordate, apex acuminate or acute. Flowers in sparse terminal or axillary cymes. Pedicel 0.7--1.4 cm, elongate and nodding after anthesis, slender, with 1 line of hairs. Sepals 5, ovate-lanceolate or ovate-oblong, ca. 2--2.5 or 4 mm, outside glandular pubescent, margin broadly membranous, apex slightly obtuse or nearly rounded. Petals oblong, shorter than or subequaling sepals, 2-cleft nearly to base; lobes nearly linear. Stamens 3--5, shorter than petals. Styles 3, linear. Capsule ovoid, slightly longer than persistent sepals, 6-valved. Seeds numerous, red-brown, ovoid to compressed globose, 1--1.2 mm in diam., semiglobose-tuberculate or curved reticulate. Fl. Jun--Jul, fr. Jul--Aug. 2n = 40, 42, 44.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

"Erect or diffuse herbs; stem tomentose. Leaves opposite, to 2 x 1.5 cm, ovate, acute, glabrous, lateral nerves form a clear intramarginal vein; petioles 2-3 mm long. Flowers solitary; axillary and terminal; pedicel 1.5 cm long; sepals 3 x 1 mm, oblong, hairy outside; petals 5, 1.3 mm long, 2-fid to base, white; stamens 10, free; ovary 1-celled, ovules few, basal; styles 3, curved, tubercled. Capsule 3 mm long, ovoid; seeds 4-8, 1.2 x 1.2 mm, reniform, tuberculate."
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Diagnostic

Habit: Herb
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Synonym

Alsine media Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 272. 1753; Stellaria apetala Ucria ex Roemer; S. media var. procera Klatt & Richter
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Common Chickweed occurs in every county of Illinois and is quite common. It is native to Eurasia. Habitats include woodland areas prone to flooding, thickets, cropland and fallow fields, lawns and gardens, nursery plots, areas adjacent to buildings, and miscellaneous waste areas. While this species occurs to a limited extent in natural habitats, it prefers areas with a history of disturbance.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

General Habitat

Degraded forest areas in High Ranges
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Cultivated ground, waste places, open woodlands; 0-2500m.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat & Distribution

Fields. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Sikkim; Europe].
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Found in a wide variety of disturbed habitats, particularly in nutrient-rich areas (3). It is a notorious weed of gardens and cultivated areas, and may also occur on walls, new plantations, sewage works and manure heaps, and is a typical feature of coastal strand-lines (3). It has been found in pre-Neolithic deposits, and so it is not dependent on human disturbance for survival (1).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Associations

Faunal Associations

The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract Andrenid bees, Halictid bees, and various kinds of flies, including Syrphid flies, Muscid flies, Flesh flies, and Anthomyiid flies. In the absence of such visitors, the flowers can self-pollinate. The caterpillars of some moths feed on the foliage, including Agrotis venerabilis (Venerable Dart), Haematopis grataria (Chickweed Geometer), Lobocleta ossularia (Drab Brown Wave). Small granivorous songbirds eat the seeds (see Bird Table), while Chickens and possibly some upland gamebirds eat both the foliage and seeds. Among mammalian herbivores, the Cottontail Rabbit and hogs eat the foliage without apparent ill-effect.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Flower-Visiting Insects of Common Chickweed in Illinois

Stellaria media (Common Chickweed) introduced
(Insects suck nectar from the flowers; some short-tongued bees also collect pollen, as noted below; most observations are from Robertson, otherwise they are from Krombein et al. and Lewis as indicated below)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina dupla dupla; Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Nomada luteola, Nomada ovatus, Nomada sulphurata; Megachilidae (Osmiini): Osmia lignaria lignaria

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Augochlorella aurata sn, Augochlorella striata sn fq, Halictus confusus sn, Halictus ligatus sn, Halictus rubicunda sn, Lasioglossum foxii sn, Lasioglossum imitatus sn cp fq, Lasioglossum macoupinensis sn, Lasioglossum obscurus sn, Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus sn, Lasioglossum versatus sn fq; Colletidae (Colletinae): Colletes inaequalis sn; Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena andrenoides andrenoides sn, Andrena arabis (Kr), Andrena cressonii sn cp icp, Andrena forbesii sn, Andrena illinoiensis sn, Andrena miserabilis bipunctata sn, Andrena personata sn fq, Andrena sayi sn

Wasps
Chalcididae: Conura torvina; Ichneumonidae: Delomerista novita; Sapygidae: Sapyga centrata

Sawflies
Tenthredinidae: Dolerus unicolor

Flies
Sciaridae: Sciara atrata; Syrphidae: Brachypalpus oarus, Cheilosia capillata, Eristalinus aeneus, Eristalis arbustorum, Eristalis dimidiatus, Eristalis tenax, Eupeodes americanus, Platycheirus obscurus, Platycheirus quadratus, Syritta pipiens, Syrphus ribesii, Toxomerus geminatus, Toxomerus marginatus fq; Tachinidae: Gonia capitata fq, Siphona geniculata; Calliphoridae: Cynomya cadaverina, Lucilia illustris, Lucilia sericata, Pollenia rudis, Protophormia terraenovae; Muscidae: Musca domestica, Myospila meditabunda, Neomyia cornicina; Anthomyiidae: Delia platura; Fanniidae: Fannia manicata; Sphaeroceridae: Copromyza equina; Scathophagidae: Scathophaga furcata

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Vanessa virginiensis; Lycaenidae: Celastrina argiolus; Pieridae: Pieris rapae (Lw)

Plant Bugs
Lygaeidae: Lygaeus turcicus

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Hypera diversipunctata grazes on leaf of Stellaria media

Foodplant / parasite
mostly hypophyllous uredium of Melampsorella caryophyllacearum parasitises live leaf of Stellaria media
Remarks: Other: uncertain

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

Foodplant / parasite
sporangium of Peronospora alsinearum parasitises live leaf (upper) of seedling of Stellaria media
Remarks: season: 5
Other: minor host/prey

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

Foodplant / sap sucker
nymph of Stygnocoris rusticus sucks sap of Stellaria media
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population Biology

Frequency

Locally common in the E Highlands.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering and fruiting: Throughout the year
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering year-round where climatic conditions permit.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Stellaria media

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


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Stellaria media

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 12
Specimens with Barcodes: 24
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Status

Extremely common and widespread (3).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

This species is not threatened.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation

Not relevant.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

Typical growing conditions consist of partial or full sun, moist to mesic conditions, and a fairly fertile loam or clay-loam soil. Light shade and temporary flooding are tolerated.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Economic Uses

Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Stellaria media

This article is about the plant most often called chickweed. For other uses, see List of plants named chickweed.

Stellaria media, chickweed, is a cool-season annual plant native to Europe, which is often eaten by chickens. It is sometimes called common chickweed to distinguish it from other plants called chickweed. Other common names include chickenwort, craches, maruns, winterweed. The plant germinates in fall or late winter, then forms large mats of foliage. Flowers are small and white, followed quickly by the seed pods. This plant flowers and sets seed at the same time.

Distribution and identification[edit]

Stellaria media is widespread in North America and Europe. There are several closely related plants referred to as chickweed, but which lack the culinary properties of plants in the genus Stellaria. Plants in the genus Cerastium are very similar in appearance to Stellaria and are in the same family (Carophyllaceae). Stellaria media can be easily distinguished from all other members of this family by examining the stems. Stellaria has fine hairs on only one side of the stem in a single band. Other members of the family Carophyllaceae which resemble Stellaria have hairs uniformly covering the entire stem.

Ecology[edit]

The larvae of the European moth yellow shell (Camptogramma bilineata), of North American moths pale-banded dart (Agnorisma badinodis) or dusky cutworm (Agrotis venerabilis) or North American butterfly dainty sulphur (Nathalis iole) all feed on chickweed.

Growth[edit]

Whole plant

In both Europe and North America this plant is common in gardens,[1] fields, and disturbed grounds. Control is difficult due to the heavy seed sets. Common Chickweed is very competitive with small grains, and can produce up to 80% yield losses among barley.[2]

Uses[edit]

As food[edit]

Stellaria media is delicious, edible and nutritious, and is used as a leaf vegetable, often raw in salads.[3] It is one of the ingredients of the symbolic dish consumed in the Japanese spring-time festival, Nanakusa-no-sekku.

Toxicity[edit]

S. media contains plant chemicals known as saponins, which can be toxic when consumed in large quantities. Chickweed has been known to cause saponin poisoning in cattle. However, as the animal must consume several kilos of chickweed in order to reach a toxic level, such deaths are rare.

In folk medicine[edit]

The plant has medicinal purposes and is used in folk medicine. It has been used as a remedy to treat itchy skin conditions and pulmonary diseases.[4] 17th century herbalist John Gerard recommended it as a remedy for mange. Modern herbalists mainly prescribe it for skin diseases, and also for bronchitis, rheumatic pains, arthritis and period pain.[citation needed] A poultice of chickweed can be applied to cuts, burns and bruises.[citation needed] Not all of these uses are supported by scientific evidence.[5]

Chemistry[edit]

The anthraquinones emodin, parietin (physcion) and questin, the flavonoid kaempferol-3,7-O-α-L-dirhamnoside, the phytosterols β-sitosterol and daucosterol, and the fatty alcohol 1-hexacosanol can be found in S. media.[6] Other flavonoid constituents are apigenin 6-C-beta-D-galactopyranosyl-8-C-alpha-L-arabinopyranoside, apigenin 6-C-alpha-L-arabinopyranosyl-8-C-beta-D-galactopyranoside, apigenin 6-C-beta-D-galactopyranosyl-8-C-beta-L-arabinopyranoside, apigenin 6-C-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-8-C-beta-D-galactopyranoside, apigenin 6, 8-di-C-alpha-L-arabinopyranoside.[7] The plant also contains triterpenoid saponins[8][9] of the hydroxylated oleanolic acid type[10] and tannins (including phlobatannins).[11] Proanthocyanidins are present in the testa of seeds.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Neltje, Blanchan (2005). Wild Flowers Worth Knowing. Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. 
  2. ^ A. Davis, K. Renner, C. Sprague, L. Dyer, D. Mutch (2005). Integrated Weed Management. MSU.
  3. ^ Stellaria media at Plants for a Future
  4. ^ Hensel, Wolfgang (2008). Medicinal plants of Britain and Europe. London: A&C Black. ISBN 9781408101544. 
  5. ^ Howard, Michael (1987). Traditional folk remedies : a comprehensive herbal. London: Century. p. 119. ISBN 0-7126-1731-0. 
  6. ^ Studies on the Chemical Constituents From Stellaria media (II). Huang Yuan, Dong Qi, Qiao Shan-Yi, Pharmaceutical Journal of Chinese People's Liberation Army, 2007-03 (abstract) (Article in Chinese)
  7. ^ Dong, Q; Huang, Y; Qiao, SY (2007). "Studies on chemical constituents from stellaria media. I". Zhongguo Zhong yao za zhi = Zhongguo zhongyao zazhi = China journal of Chinese materia medica (in Chinese) 32 (11): 1048–51. PMID 17672340. 
  8. ^ Hu, Y.M.; Wang, H.; Ye, W.C.; Qian, L. (2009). "New triterpenoid fromStellaria media(L.) Cyr". Natural Product Research 23 (14): 1274–8. doi:10.1080/14786410701642532. PMID 19735039. 
  9. ^ Weng, A; Thakur, M; Beceren-Braun, F; Gilabert-Oriol, R; Boettger, S; Melzig, MF; Fuchs, H (2012). "Synergistic interaction of triterpenoid saponins and plant protein toxins". Planta Medica 78 (11). doi:10.1055/s-0032-1320271. 
  10. ^ Böttger, Stefan; Melzig, Matthias F. (2011). "Triterpenoid saponins of the Caryophyllaceae and Illecebraceae family". Phytochemistry Letters 4 (2): 59. doi:10.1016/j.phytol.2010.08.003. 
  11. ^ Oyebanji (2011). "Phytochemistry and in vitro anti-oxidant activities of Stellaria media, Cajanus cajan and Tetracera potatoria methanolic extracts". Journal of Medicinal Plants Research 5 (30). doi:10.5897/JMPR11.246. 
  12. ^ Bittrich, V.; Amaral, Maria Do Carmo E. (1991). "Proanthocyanidins in the testa of centrospermous seeds". Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 19 (4): 319. doi:10.1016/0305-1978(91)90020-Z. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Everitt, J.H.; Lonard, R.L.; Little, C.R. (2007). Weeds in South Texas and Northern Mexico. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press.  ISBN 0-89672-614-2
  • Tilford, Gregory L. (1997). Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West. Mountain Press Publishing Company. ISBN 0-87842-359-1. 
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Notes

Comments

Stellaria media, now a cosmopolitan weed, is a very polymorphic species, varying in size, habit, pubescence, petal length, stamen number, and seed size and surface detail.  

The Stellaria media complex consists of three very similar and closely related species, S. media, S. neglecta, and S. pallida. They can almost always be distinguished by the characters given in the key, but in a few doubtful cases a chromosome count is desirable for positive identification. The problem arises from the considerable phenotypic variation which is displayed by S. media, and to a lesser extent by S. pallida. There is no evidence for gene exchange between these species. Stellaria pallida is autogamous and sometimes cleistogamous; S. media is both autogamous and occasionally cross-pollinated by flies; S. neglecta is usually cross-pollinated by flies but is self-compatible.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: European (Weakley, unpubl. flora SE US).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!