Stellaria media

Scientific Name Stellaria media
Common Names English: Common chickweed, nodding chickweed; German: Vogelmiere, Vogel-Sternmiere, Hühnerdarm; French: Mouron des oiseaux, stellaire intermédiaire, morgeline; Spanish: Álsine, pamplina, hierba gallinera
Description Annual or perennial prostrate weed, propagating itself by seed. S. media is 5-40 cm (1.96 - 15.74 inch) tall and a preferred feed for birds, chicken and geese.

Descriptions

Characteristic Features

Intertwined stems, which form a mat; flowers almost all year round.

Cotyledons

Stemmed, lanceolate, smooth-edged, pale green, hairless, with a distinct midrib.

Stems

Round, prostrate and intertwining, generally with one row of hairs. Plant can root from the nodes.

Leaves

Opposite, in pairs, small, a pointed oval in shape, lower leaves stemmed, with a line of hairs on the stem.

Propagatio Organs

Flowers

Inconspicuous, small, star-shaped, in loose cymes. Five white petals, deeply divided so that there appear to be 10 petals.

Flowering Period

Almost all year round.

Fruit

Conical, oval capsules, opening into six segments, approx. 5 mm (0.19 inch) long.

Seeds

Germination in spring and autumn.
The seeds are rounded, kidney-shaped, reddish-brown-to-black, with small hooks on the back.
Surface germinator, germinating no deeper than 3 cm (1.18 inch).

Viability Of Seeds

50 years or more.

Propagation

By seeds.
2,000-20,000 per plant.

Occurrence

Habitat

Lawns, deciduous forests, disturbed areas, often where moist in spring; very common.

Soil

Good, well-tilled soil with sufficient moisture, nitrogen-loving.

Additional Crop Information

Also considered a lawn weed.

Agricultural Importance

S. media is one of the most common weeds. It germinates in autumn and spring. The autumn-germinating plants can make seeds early the next spring, so that a second generation is produced. The autumn germinators, in particular, form thick mats in winter cereals in mild weather conditions. One single plant often covers the ground with a thick canopy in spring, therefore, coverage is a useful parameter to calculate competition of Stellaria media.
Common Chickweed mainly competes for water and nutrients.

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