Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Star Chickweed - Stellaria pubera   Michaux
Members of Stellaria with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Caryophyllales » Family Caryophyllaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
AuthorMichaux
DistributionThroughout the mountains and Piedmont; sparingly in the western Coastal Plain, but only in brownwater floodplains (Roanoke and Cape Fear).

This is a species of the middle part of the Eastern states, ranging from PA and IL south to central GA and MS, and barely to western FL.
AbundanceCommon in the mountains and Piedmont. Locally fairly common along the Roanoke and Cape Fear floodplains, to Martin and Bladen counties.
HabitatThis species occurs in rich or moist forests. It grows best on lower hardwood slopes, but it also grows in bottomland forests.
See also Habitat Account for General Mesic Hardwood Forests
PhenologyBlooms from April into June, and fruits shortly after flowering. It withers soon after fruiting -- i.e., is a spring ephemeral species.
IdentificationThis is a rather short herb that grows erect or leaning, but only to about 6-9" long, and can be longer after flowering is concluded. It has numerous pairs of elliptical leaves, generally sessile, and about 2" long and nearly half as wide. At the ends of the stem, just above the upper pair of leaves, is a small flower cluster. Each of the 5 white petals is strongly split down the middle, so as to appear to be 10 petals; the spread flower is about 1/2" across. In this species, the 5 sepals are ovate and slightly shorter than the petals, such that the petals are more showy looking (and the sepals often cannot be seen from the front) than in the very similar S. corei, where the sepals are long and acuminate and protrude beyond the petals. Stellaria pubera is a quite familiar spring wildflower, common on many rich forested slopes, and the "10" petals are quite distinctive. It does not grow in dense colonies like S. corei does, but it still can occur in sizable patches.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Giant Chickweed, Great Chickweed, Common Starwort
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcp
USACE-emp
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Select a source
AllHerbaria
Individual
Website
Select an occurrence type
AllCollection_naturalSight_natural