Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Bog Chickweed - Stellaria alsine   Grimm
Members of Caryophyllaceae:
Members of Stellaria with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Caryophyllales » Family Caryophyllaceae
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DistributionPresent over much or most of the southern half of the Mountains, northeast to Madison and Buncombe counties. When RAB (1968) was published, all collections were just from Madison County. Thus, much better known or surveyed for in recent decades.

This is a northern species, ranging south to NJ and PA, and sparingly to northern VA and northern WV. It is then disjunct to southwestern NC and eastern TN.
AbundanceRare, and easily overlooked; possibly locally uncommon. This is a Watch List species, as identified by the NCNHP.
HabitatThis is a species of cold waters, growing in very damp if not wet ground. It can grow in seeps, along creeks or at creek margins, in ditches, in bogs, and in a few other wetland types.
PhenologyBlooms in April and May, and fruits soon after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a very slender and weak herb, growing to about 1 foot long, usually leaning. It has smooth and angled stems, and numerous pairs of stem leaves. Each leaf is narrowly elliptic, about 1/2-inch long and much narrower, with entire margins. At the ends of branches grow a few small flowers on long stalks. Each flower is barely 1/6-inch long, including the 5 white petals (if present at all); they tend to be shorter than the 5 pointed sepals. In this genus, petals tend to be deeply parted so as to appear like 2 petals; thus, the flower may appear to have 10 tiny white petals. Separate this chickweed from others -- some native and some exotic -- by its narrow leaves (several times longer than wide), and the very short sepals and petals (under 1/8-inch long).
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Bog Stitchwort, Bog Starwort, Longstalk Starwort
State RankS2S3
Global RankG5
State StatusW1
US Status
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USACE-empOBL link
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B.A. SorriePhoto taken at Montague MA, 1980s. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC

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