Birdweed, Common Chickweed, Chickenwort, Passerina, Starweed, Star Chickweed, Winterweed…
Plants of the World Online lists 59 synonyms of Stellaria media as of 5-23-21 when I last updated this page. I didn’t want to add the list but you can view it by clicking HERE.
Stellaria media (L.) Vill. is the correct and accepted scientific name for the Common Chickweed. It was named and described as such by Domínique Villars in the third volume of Histoire des Plantes de Dauphiné in 1789. It was first named and described as Alsine media by Carl von Linnaeus in the first volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.
The genus, Stellaria L., was described by Carl von Linnaeus in the first volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.
Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 178 species in the Stellaria genus (as of 5-23-21 when I last updated this page). It is a member of the plant family Caryophyllaceae with 98 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made by POWO.
The above distribution map for Stellaria media is from Plants of the World Online. Areas in green are where the species is native and purple where it has been introduced. The map on the USDA Plants Database for the United States and Canada is the same. They upgraded their site and were having server issues and bugs to fix so the link may not work properly.
The map on iNaturalist shows where members have made observations. Anyone can join and it is a great website to confirm and share your observations.
THERE ARE SEVERAL LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING AND TO HELP WITH A POSITIVE ID.
I think every gardener knows what Chickweed is since it is quite common throughout most of the world. Despite its unneeded activity in flower beds and gardens, Chickweed has several medicinal properties and is said to be healthy to eat in salads. Personally, I have not tried it in salads but I have bought salve made from it and it was great. It is much easier to buy it from a natural food store than to make it yourself.
I apologize for not writing descriptions at the moment, but I have A LOT of wildflower pages to make and publish before I start getting too busy. I update this site and add new pages over the winter but I didn’t get finished. SO, I decided to just make the page with photos and links to other sites for better plant ID. I will be taking more photos over the summer and posting but I will also be working on these pages as I have time.
Each Chickweed plant can produce over 800 seeds and the seeds can lay dormant in soil for up to 10 years. Plants can continue to produce seed even when pulled up and can reestablish themselves when left on the ground.
Removing Chickweed from the flower beds is just something I have learned to live with. It grows freely in several areas, but it isn’t allowed in the flower beds once I plant the beds and the perennials start growing. Once the temps get warmer and the rain is less plentiful, the Chickweed starts to fizzle out.
I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the farm and other areas. My farm is in Windsor, Missouri in Pettis County (Henry County is across the street and Benton and Johnson aren’t far away). I have grown over 500 different plants and identified over 100 species of wildflowers (most have pages listed on the right side of the page). I am not an expert, botanist, or horticulturalist. I just like growing, photographing, and writing about my experience. I rely on several websites for ID and a few horticulturalists I contact if I cannot figure them out. Wildflowers can be somewhat variable from location to location, so sometimes it gets a bit confusing. If you see I have made an error, please let me know so I can correct what I have written.
I hope you found this page useful and be sure to check the links below for more information. They were written by experts and provide much more information. Some sites may not be up-to-date but they are always a work in progress. If you can, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Like” below and leave a comment. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. You can also send an email to me at email@example.com. I would enjoy hearing from you especially if you notice something is a bit whacky.
FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
INTERNATIONAL PLANT NAMES INDEX (GENUS/SPECIES)
FLORA OF NORTH AMERICA (GENUS/SPECIES)
WORLD FLORA ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
USDA PLANTS DATABASE
MSU-MIDWEST WEEDS AND WILDFLOWERS
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-WEED ID GUIDE
KANSAS WILDFLOWERS AND GRASSES
NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
PFAF(PLANTS FOR A FUTURE)
FRIENDS OF THE WILDFLOWER GARDEN
MARYLAND BIODIVERSITY PROJECT
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON/BURKE HERBARIUM
INVASIVE PLANT ATLAS
NOTE: The data (figures, maps, accepted names, etc.) may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates (and if they update their sources or even read what they say). Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. Some of the links may use a name that is a synonym on other sites. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates “at least” once a year and when I write new pages or add new photos but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂