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.


Characteristic Features

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


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


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


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

Propagation Organs


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.


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


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.


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



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


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

Additional Crop Information

Also considered a turf weed.

Agricultural Importance

S. media is one of the most common weeds. It germinates in autumn and spring. The autumn-germinating plants can produce seeds early the next spring, so that a second generation is produced. The autumn germinators, in particular, are able to form thick weed 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, space, light, and nutrients.

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