Index- plants in this Family
Caryophyllaceae / Pink
Chickweeds (Stellaria )
Chickweeds is also known as Starwort.

Plant Type: This is a herbaceous plant.
Leaves: The leaf arrangement is opposite. Each leaf is entire.
Flowers: The flowers have 5 Regular Parts. They are white sometimes greenish. Blooms first appear in early spring and continue into mid fall. The flowers often appear to have 10 parts because they are so deeply cleft or "pinked".

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Daniel Reed
1-Common Chickweed, 2 & 4-Mouse Ear Chickweed, 3-Lesser Stichwort, 5-Field Chickweed

There are several species of chickweed, including those in the genus Cerastium, in our area. Some are native and some naturalized. Most are small, often low growing plants. They may cover the ground and remain green in the winter. The flowers are often insignificant and so are not mentioned in many wildflower books.

Similar Species: See:Cerastium arvense, Feld Chickweed

Stellaria has 3 styles while Cerastium has 5 styles.

Stellarias include: Common Chickweed (S. media) which is an introduced "weed" often found in lawns and gardens. It is low growing, often reclining and the flowers are very inconspicuous often lacking petals. It is a favored food of birds.
Bog Chickweed (S. alsine) is very similar to above except the leaves have no stems and it is found in wet areas.
Great or Star Chickweed (S. pubera) is a larger plant which may recline or stand to 30cm (12"). The flowers can be 1.25cm (.5") wide. It tends to grow in woods.
Grass-like Starwort or Lesser Stitchwort (S. graminea) and Long leaved Stitchwort S. longifolia have narrow lance shaped leaves the latter reaching 6.5cm (2.5") long. (S. graminea) is non native.

Cerastium include: Mouse ear Chickweed (C. vulgatum) is a non native "weed" found in gardens and lawns. It is hairy with small flowers with petals cleft less than half there length. The sepals are about as long as the petals. The leaves have no stems and can reach 2.5cm (1") long.
Cerastium arvense, Feld Chickweedhas lance shaped stemless leaves and a slightly hairy stem with some basal leaves. The petals are at least twice as long as the sepals and are cleft less than half there length. The flower can be 2cm (.8") wide.



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More Info:  
The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database (http://plants.usda.gov/). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.
 

By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.


Wildflo wers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.



Classification:  
Kingdom
Plantae
Plants
|Division
Magnoliophyta
Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
|Class
Magnoliopsida
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves
|Subclass
Caryophyllidae
Pink
||Family
Caryophyllaceae
Pink
|Subfamily

|Tribe

|Genus
Stellaria
Starwort

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www.2bnTheWild.com - Wildflowers of the Southeastern United States, Page updated on 5/5/2001 8:06:28 AM.