Stellaria media (L.) Villars

Caryophyllaceae (Pink Family)


Chickweed is a slender, weak-stemmed annual with trailing stems 4" to 16" long and opposite, entire-margined, ovate leaves. The lower leaves are short-petioled and the upper sessile.  The flowers are small and solitary in the leaf axils, and there are five lanceolate to ovate, pubescent sepals and five white petals, shorter than the sepals and each deeply cleft creating the appearance of ten petals.  The fruit is an ovoid capsule with minute, roughened, reddish or purplish-brown seeds.  Chickweed is a common weed in shaded places, meadows and disturbed areas below 4000' throughout much of cismontane southern California, blooming from February to September.  It is a native of Eurasia.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Stellaria 2) media.
Pronunciation: stel-AIR-ee-a MEE-dee-a.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.