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MinervaFlora - December Update

This month we are highlighting COMMON CHICKWEED - so named as it is a preferred food of chickens and other fowl. It is also called star flower.

LATIN: Stellaria media

ENVIRONMENT: Prefers moist, fertile soils, but can grow in a wide range of conditions.

DESCRIPTION: This is a common weed in the carnation family. It grows low to the ground in a mat like growth which inhibits erosion. It has a slender stem with leaves that are small, smooth and shiny and produces small, star-shaped, white flowers with an average of 25,000 seeds per plant which can be viable for 30 years! Chickweed is a winter annual whose seeds mostly germinate in fall, with some in spring/summer.

WILDLIFE: Can be nitrate toxic to livestock if grazed heavily. Common Chickweed is a host for Western Tarnished Plant Bug and Tomato Spotted Wilt virus.

MEDICINAL: Can be used as an anti-inflammatory - used to treat skin ailments in addition to many other ailments.

CULINARY: Edible in salads. Can be used as a famine food.

CONTROL: Easily hand weeded or hoed, especially early, before mats form. Can also be treated with selective herbicides (consult label)

FUN FACT: Thought to be the world’s most adaptable flowering plant, according to one source.


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