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Federal Noxious Weed
TDA Noxious Weed
TPWD Prohibited Exotic Species
Invasive Plant Atlas of the US

NOTE: means species is on that list.

Stellaria media


Common chickweed

Synonym(s):
Family: Caryophyllaceae (Pink Family)
Duration and Habit: Annual, Perennial Herb


Photographer: John D. Byrd
Source: Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org

Description

Common chickweed is an annual, low-growing herb native to Europe. Stems are decumbent, to 19.7 in. (50 cm) long with a longitudinal line of hairs. Leaves are opposite, oval, to 0.8 in. (2 cm) long and pointed at the tip. Older leaves are petiolate. Flowering occurs in early spring when small, white flowers develop in the leaf axils or in terminal clusters. Flowers have 5 cleft petals, therefore appearing that there are 10. Fruits are very small and are covered by extremely hairy calyces.

Ecological Threat: Common chickweed is able to create dense mats of shoots up to 12 inches long, shading young seedlings of other plants. It invades, spreads, and out-competes other spring annuals. Common chickweed is reported to contain poisonous glycosides and high nitrate levels.

Biology & Spread: Seed output can be from 600 to 15,000 per plant. It reproduces vegetatively through a fibrous root system and by seeds.

History:

U.S. Habitat: Common chickweed found in a wide variety of habitats and soil textures. Soil pH ranges from 4.8 to 7.3. It prefers soil with high level of nitrogen supply. It can readily tolerate very low temperatures, and can even flower and fruit under a snow cover at temperatures as low as -16° F. It is sensitive to drought. It is found along disturbed lands, cultivated fields, waste places, trails, roadsides, forest, and gardens.

Distribution

U.S. Nativity: Introduced to U.S.

Native Origin: Probably southern Europe (NatureServe Explorer)

U.S. Present: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

Distribution: Throughout most of North America, except Arctic islands.

Mapping

Invaders of Texas Map: Stellaria media
EDDMapS: Stellaria media
USDA Plants Texas County Map: Stellaria media

Invaders of Texas Observations

List All Observations of Stellaria media reported by Citizen Scientists

Resembles/Alternatives

Management


Manual- Hand pull or dig; remove entire plant and root; dispose of all plant parts because plant shoots have the ability to re-root.

Chemical- It can be effectively controlled using any of several readily available general use herbicides such as glyphosate or triclopyr. Follow label and state requirements. It is resistant to some herbicides - acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibitors: chlorsulfuron, metsulfuron, tribenuron, triasulfuron, rimsulfuron, sulfometuron, flumetsulam and imazapyr.

USE PESTICIDES WISELY: ALWAYS READ THE ENTIRE PESTICIDE LABEL CAREFULLY, FOLLOW ALL MIXING AND APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND WEAR ALL RECOMMENDED PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR AND CLOTHING. CONTACT YOUR STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL PESTICIDE USE REQUIREMENTS, RESTRICTIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS. MENTION OF PESTICIDE PRODUCTS ON THIS WEB SITE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ENDORSEMENT OF ANY MATERIAL.

Text References

U.S. Forest Service. 2006. Weed of the Week:Common Chickweed. Accessed February 2009: http://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/invasive_plants/weeds/common-chickweed.pdf

Online Resources

Bugwood Network. Bugwood.org

Search Online

Google Search: Stellaria media
Google Images: Stellaria media
NatureServe Explorer: Stellaria media
USDA Plants: Stellaria media
Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States: Stellaria media
Bugwood Network Images: Stellaria media

Last Updated: 2007-11-08 by LBJWFC
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