Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Common Chickweed - Stellaria media   (L.) Villars
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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Author(L.) Villars
DistributionThroughout the state, doubtless in every county in abundance.

Native of Europe; in N.A. throughout, including AK and Greenland.
AbundanceAbundant, except uncommon on the Outer Banks and in the Sandhills proper. In favored habitats such as rich mesic forests and floodplains, it often is the dominant or co-dominant ground cover -- occurring by the millions (if not billions) of individuals. This is a rather pernicious weed that has eliminated many stands of low-growing native spring wildflowers.
HabitatRich mesic forests and woodlands, deciduous floodplain forests, roadsides through the above, rocky slopes and ravines; also disturbed places of a wide variety, such as lawn weed, garden weed, campus weed, ditches, vacant lots, clearcuts, meadows.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting January-October (later?).
IdentificationCommon Chickweed is a plant that everyone who has been outdoors has seen in abundance. Individually it does not attract attention, but en masse it makes for showy patches. The plants are essentially prostrate with ascending branches and small ovate leaves. The rather tiny flowers are white, the petals about the same length as sepals, each petal divided to the base to give the effect of 10 petals. Along with Microstegium vimineum, these two species are the major herbaceous scourges of bottomland forests and rich slopes; however, each is so abundant that eliminating large stands is essentially impossible.
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State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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