Common Chickweed
Cerastium fontanum Baumg.
Family: Caryophyllaceae, Pink
Genus: Cerastium
Synonyms: Cerastium vulgatum
Other names: mouse-ear chickweed
Nomenclature: fontanum = of a spring
Nativity / Invasiveness: introduced plant
Edible plant
Medicinal plant

General: stiff-hairy and glandular to glandular-short-hairy biennial or perennial, probably often flowering the first season, the stems creeping or trailing, tending to sprawl and root at the nodes. Flowering stems erect, simple or branched, mostly 20-40 cm tall.

Leaves: opposite, the prostrate stems usually with crowded mostly oblanceolate or spatulate leaves 10-25 mm long and 2-5 mm broad. Leaves of the flowering stems much more widely spaced and much larger, up to 4 cm long and 15 mm broad, stalkless.

Flowers: usually several to many in an open, 2-forkedly branched cluster, the bracts only slightly or not at all membranous-edged. Terminal flower at the forks with a stalk usually at least 2-3 times as long as the calyx, the side flowers often longer than their stalks also. Sepals 4-7 mm long, more or less stiff-hairy, often non-glandular. Petals about equalling the calyx. May-October.

Fruits: capsule cylindric, about twice the length of the calyx, the seeds 0.6-0.8 mm long, reddish-brown.


Fields, lawns, wooded areas, in moist soil and light shade, in w., c. and s.e. parts of MT. A Eurasian weed, common throughout most of temperate and subarctic N. America.
Edible Uses

The leaves of common chickweed are edible, raw or cooked. Leaves and young stems are edible cooked.

Medicinal Uses

The Cherokee Indians used a compound infusion of stem and root given to children for worms.

Sub taxa:

Our specimen belong to ssp. vulgare (Hartman) Greuter & Burdet.

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