Common Chickweed is a
annual plant of the UK, typically found growing in cropland, gardens and waste ground, to a mature height of up to 35cm.
The name 'Chickweed' comes from the plant's traditional use as a food source for chickens. Although in the same family, Common Chickweed is in a different genus to Mouse-Ear Chickweed. The leaves of Common Chickweed, although basically oval, are generally broader and more delta-shaped than those of Mouse-Ear Chickweed. The mature leaves of Common Chickweed are smooth (although hairs are present on young leaves), unlike the hairy leaves of Mouse-Ear Chickweed. The flower petals are also very different, with Common Chickweed having very deeply-notched petals, to the point where it appears to have ten petals.
Botanic classification and naming: Common Chickweed is a member of the Carnation (Caryophyllaceae) family. The genus name
'Stellaria' identifies the plant as a Stitchwort and its species name 'media' means 'middle-sized'.
Benefits: Pollinated by bees and flies. Provides food for caterpillars of the Muslin and Yellow Shell moths.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.