Scientific name: Stellaria media and Cerastium vulgatum
Abundance: common
What: leaves, stems
How: raw or cooked
Where: sunny, shady disturbed areas
When: winter, spring
Nutritional Value: Rich in iron, potassium, other minerals, and vitamins A, D, B, C, and minerals
Dangers: Chickweed contain a small amount of saponins (soap-like) chemicals. Excessive quantities of it can cause an upset stomach.

Medicinal Summary:
Leaves/Stems/Flowers - diuretic; reduces urinary tract pain and inflammations; gastrointestinal inflammations; soothes skin inflammations; soothes insect bites and stings (poultice, tincture, tisane)

Leaf Arrangement: The leaves of Stellaria media are opposite-alternating, meaning they are paired at each node along the stem, but each pair is rotated 90 degrees on the stem from the pairs above and below it.

Leaf Shape: The leaves are ovate to lanceolate in shape. This means they are shaped like an egg or a lance tip, with the wider part at the base in the case of ovate leaves.

Venation: The venation pattern of Stellaria media is pinnate. In this pattern, a central vein runs along the leaf length with smaller veins branching out from it.

Leaf Margin: The leaf margins are entire, indicating that the edges of the leaves are smooth and unnotched.

Leaf Color: The leaves exhibit a vibrant green color.

Flower Structure: The flowers are small and star-shaped, typically with five deeply cleft petals, giving the appearance of ten petals.

Flower Color: The flowers are white.

Fruit: The fruit is a small, dry capsule that opens at maturity to release seeds.

Seeds: Seeds are numerous and brown, with a slightly rough texture.

Stem: The stems are round, slender, and can be either trailing or erect. 

Hairs: Stellaria media exhibits fine hairs which are present on only one side of the stem at a time and switch sides at each pair of leaf nodes. Flower buds and seed pods are also covered in fine hairs. Leaves are hairless.

Height: This plant typically grows to about 6 to 12 inches tall.

Patch of chickweed growing against house foundation.

Chickweed flowers. Note the petals are deeply cleft, making one petal look like two.


Close-up of chickweed leaf.

Chickweed going to seed.

Mouse-Eared Chickweed (Cerastium vulgatum).

All surfaces of Cerastium vulgatum are covered in fine hairs.

Close-up of Mouse-Eared Chickweed leaf.

Close-up of Mouse-Eared Chickweed flower.


North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Chickweed makes its appearance in the winter and early spring of Texas lawns, often prefering to grow right up against the base of a house. Its sprouts were a common source of greens on early navy ships and helped prevent scurvy before the discovery of vitamin C. Their small amount of saponins help give dishes containing chickweed a creamy texture, especially when diced finely and simmered in pasta sauces. It's also tastes wonderful in pesto, salsas, and raw food/vegan "green drinks" as well as greatly increasing the nutritional value of these foods.

The hairy "Mouse-Eared Chickweed" Cerastium vulgatum must be cooked before eating to soften the hairs on the stems and leaves.

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