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Mouse-ear Chickweed Cerastium fontanum


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Mouse-ear Chickweed
credit: jon hayes/CCSA

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Alternate name: Common Mouse-ear Chickweed

Family: Caryophyllaceae, Carnation view all from this family

Description Often a troublesome weed, this plant forms a low mat with tiny white flowers.
Habit: introduced annual, biennial or short-lived perennial herb; variable appearance; multiple stems to 1.5 ft (45 cm) long.
Height: 2-12 in (5-30 cm)
Leaf: opposite, broadly lanceolate, slightly fuzzy, prominent central vein, to 1 in (25 mm) long, to 0.4 in (10 cm) wide.
Flower: tiny, white, 5-parted, 0.25 in (6 mm) wide; 5 petals deeply 2-lobed, 5 sepals same length as petals, petals and sepals alternate; in small flat terminal cluster of 1-5 flowerheads.
Fruit: capsule, cylindrical, tan, to 0.4 in (10 mm) long; opening at tip to reveal 10 tiny teeth.

Flower April to October.

Habitat Lawns, gardens, open sites, riparian habitats, pastures, abandoned fields, meadows, roadsides, railways, stream banks, disturbed areas.

Range Found in all 50 states and all of Canada except the far north.

Discussion Also known as common mouse-ear chickweed. Up to four subspecies are proposed. Considered weedy or invasive in most areas.