Birdweed, Common Chickweed, Chickenwort, Passerina, Starweed, Star Chickweed, Winterweed…
Synonyms of Stellaria media (8)(Updated on 12-14-22 from Plants of the World Online): Alsine media L. (1753), Malachia aquatica subsp. calycina (Willk.) Nyman (1889), Stellaria media var. australis Rouy (1884), Stellaria media var. cucubaloides (Pau) Pau (1914), Stellaria media var. glabra Merino (1897)(nom. illeg.), Stellaria media var. malachiifolia Merino (1905), Stellaria media subsp. typica Bég. (1910)(not validly publ.), Stellularia media (L.) Kuntze (1891)
Synonyms of Stellaria media subsp. media (67)(Updated on 12-14-22 from POWO): Alsine apetala Kit. ex Nyman (1878), Alsine avicularum Lam. (1779), Alsine barbata Stokes (1812), Alsine bipartita Gilib. (1782)(opus utique oppr.), Alsine brachypetala Opiz (1826), Alsine elongata Jord. & Fourr. (1868), Alsine gussonii Jord. & Fourr. (1868), Alsine latifolia (Pers.) Dumort. (1827), Alsine media var. grandiflora Ten. (1824), Alsine media var. major Roth (1827), Alsine media var. transiens (Bég.) Tzvelev (2004), Alsine repens Vell. (1829), Alsine vulgaris Moench (1794), Alsinella wallichiana Sw. (1814), Arenaria vulgaris Bernh. (1800), Holosteum alsine Sw. (1791), Stellaria alpicola Lamotte(1876), Stellaria alsine Afzel. & Waldst. (1803)(nom. illeg.), Stellaria alsinoides Schleich. (1815)(not validly publ.), Stellaria bertolae Colla (1833), Stellaria caroliniana Peattie (1929), Stellaria cerastium Murray (1798), Stellaria chlorotica Timb.-Lagr. (1892), Stellaria cucubaloides Pau (1887), Stellaria decandra Schur (1866), Stellaria dichotoma Georgi (1800)(nom. illeg.), Stellaria duthiei Gand. (1913), Stellaria elisabethiae F.W.Schultz (1861), Stellaria glabella Nyman (1878), Stellaria glabra Raunk. (1934), Stellaria grandiflora Woods (1837), Stellaria hiemalis (Bég.) Raunk. (1934), Stellaria latifolia Pers. (1805), Stellaria latisepala Bég. (1910), Stellaria media var. apetala Speg. (1901)(nom. illeg.), Stellaria media var. brachypetala (Opiz) Rouy & Foucaud (1896), Stellaria media var. eleizeri Eig (1927), Stellaria media subsp. eliezeri (Eig) Zohary (1966), Stellaria media var. gymnocalyx Trautv. (1871), Stellaria media subsp. latisepala Bég. (1910), Stellaria media var. micropetala Batt. ex Bég. (1910), Stellaria media var. minor Makino (1926)(nom. illeg.),Stellaria media var. nana Bég. (1910), Stellaria media var. normalis Speg. (1901), Stellaria media var. oligandra Fenzl (1842), Stellaria media f. pachyphylla Brenner (1906), Stellaria media var. pedicellata Rouy & Foucaud (1896), Stellaria media var. subgymnocalyx Bég. (1910), Stellaria media var. succulenta Farw. (1918), Stellaria media var. transiens Bég. (1910), Stellaria media var. trichocalyx Bég. (1910), Stellaria microphylla Schur (1866), Stellaria minor (Makino) Honda (1942), Stellaria modesta Fenzl (1857), Stellaria monogyna D.Don (1825), Stellaria murmuria Buch.-Ham. ex Wall. (1829)(not validly publ.), Stellaria oligandra (Fenzl) Hassl. (1917), Stellaria pilosa Dulac (1867), Stellaria umbrosa Opiz & Rupr. (1852), Stellaria vulgaris Raunk. (1934), Stellaria xanthanthera Pobed. (1929), Stellularia media var. bononiensis Kuntze (1891), Stellularia media var. calabrica Kuntze (1891), Stellularia media var. chinensis Kuntze (1891), Stellularia media var. holosteoides Kuntze (1891), Stellularia media var. pygmaea Kuntze (1891), Stellularia media var. vulgaris Kuntze (1891)
Stellaria media (L.) Vill. is the 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.
Accepted Infraspecific Names (2)(Updated on 12-14-22): *Stellaria media subsp. media (autonym), Stellaria media subsp. romana Beger (1920). *When an infraspecific taxon is named, an autonym (“type-specimen”) is automatically generated whose description is closest to the (original) species. All have their own list of synonyms… Stellaria media subsp. romana is a native of Italy
The genus, Stellaria L., was described by Carl von Linnaeus in the first volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.
As of 12-14-22 when I last updated this page, Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 172 species in the Stellaria genus. It is a member of the plant family Caryophyllaceae with 101 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on 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 is where it has been introduced. The map on the USDA Plants Database for the United States and Canada is the same.
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. The maps on iNaturalist are continually updated as members post new observations.
THERE ARE SEVERAL LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING AND TO HELP WITH A BETTER 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. I am busy updating plant pages and writing new pages for wildflowers I identified over the summer (plus adding more photos to previously published pages). Writing descriptions in my own words can be a lengthy process, so I decided to just make new pages and come back later and write the descriptions. This is a winter project but sometimes I get behind and it takes longer. I need to continually update because plant names change, the number of species and genera fluctuates, and I want to be as accurate as I can. There are several very good websites below that can help with a positive ID. We are all a work in progress.
Each Chickweed plant can produce over 800 seeds and the seeds can lay dormant in the soil for up to 10 years. Plants can continue to produce seeds 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 flower beds or the garden. Once the temps get warmer and the rain is less plentiful, the Chickweed starts to fizzle out.
The chickweed goes wild in an area behind the chicken house. GEEZ!
I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the family farm and in other areas. The 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 MISSOURI (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. 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. 🙂