Family: Pink - Caryophyllaceae

CERASTIUM MOUSE-EAR CHICKWEED

Annual, perennial herb, erect to mat-forming; taproot or rhizomes present. Leaf: blade linear to ovate; vein 1; axillary leaf clusters generally 0. Inflorescence: terminal or axillary; flowers few to many, open to dense; pedicels 1–36+ mm. Flower: sepals (4)5, 3–12 mm, free, lanceolate to ovate, hairy to glandular-hairy, hairs generally not exceeding tip; petals 0 or (4)5, 2.5–15 mm, ± 2-lobed; stamens (4,5)10; styles (4)5, 0.5–3.3 mm. Fruit: capsule, cylindric, often ± curved in upper 1/2; teeth (8)10, spreading to recurved. Seed: several to many, pale to red-brown. ± 180 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate. (Greek: horn, from fruit shape) [Morton 2005 FNANM 5:74–93]

[Jepson]


Local Species;

  1. Cerastium arvense - field chickweed [E-flora][PCBC][TSFTK]
  2. Cerastium beeringianum - Bering chickweed [E-flora][PCBC][TSFTK]
  3. Cerastium fischerianum - Fischer's chickweed [E-flora][PCBC]
  4. Cerastium fontanum - Mouse-ear chickweed [E-flora][TSFTK]
  5. Cerastium glomeratum - sticky chickweed [E-flora
  6. Cerastium nutans - nodding chickweed [E-flora][TSFTK]
  7. Cerastium pumilum - dwarf mouse-ear [E-flora]
  8. Cerastium semidecandrum - little chickweed [E-flora]
  9. Cerastium tomentosum - snow-in-summer [E-flora]

Cerastium beeringianum

Cerastium fischerianum

Cerastium glomeratum

Cerastium nutans

Cerastium pumilum

Cerastium tomentosum

Cerastium beeringianum

Cerastium fischerianum

Cerastium glomeratum

Cerastium nutans

Cerastium pumilum

Cerastium tomentosum

AKA: Adder's mouth, Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed), Indian chickweed, satin flower, starweed, starwort, Stellaria media (common chickweed), Stellaria pubera (star chickweed), stitchwort, tonguegrass, winterweed.
Effects: It is high in vitamin C. Herbalists have used it to treat arthritis, asthma, cancer, blood disorders, constipation, eczema, fever, gout, hemorrhoids, infection, inflammation, obesity, tuberculosis, bruises, nosebleeds, abscesses, and boils.
Precautions: There is no scientific evidence for any of its supposed health benefits, though it is generally considered very safe.
Dosage: It is best used sparingly as a vegetable or salad green[EHMEFD]

Cerastium plants found to be in association with two desert truffles, Terfezia leptoderma and and Picoa juniperi. Further information not provided and two other sp., geranium and helianthemum were also present. [SoilBio-38]

Cerastium spp. are nonmycorrhizal members of Caryophyllaceae [Twardowska SWPMPR]


Field Chickweed - Cerastium arvense

Family: Caryophyllaceae (Pink family) [E-flora]


[IFBC-E-flora]

[E-flora]


Cerastium arvense is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in). It is in flower from Apr to August, and the seeds ripen from May to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies and small bees.The plant is self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. [PFAF]

Identification[IFBC-E-flora]

General: Perennial herb from stolons or subrhizomes; often forming mats or clumps 10-40 cm wide; stems prostrate, branched, usually densely glandular-hairy above and in the inflorescence, glabrous to hairy below the nodes, the flowering stems decumbent to erect, 5-40 cm tall/long. [IFBC-E-flora]

Leaves: Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves opposite, mostly linear to lance-linear, 1-3 cm long, 1-7 mm wide, 1-nerved, greyish-green; with sterile branches arising in most leaf axils; stipules lacking. [IFBC-E-flora]

Flowers: Inflorescence of 3-6 flowers in an open cluster, rarely single; bracts of the inlorescence papery-margined; petals 5, white, egg-shaped, 8-12 mm long, deeply 2-cleft; sepals 5, oblong-lanceolate, 4-6 (7) mm long, glandular-hairy. [IFBC-E-flora]

Fruits: Capsules cylindric, 6-10 mm long, 10-valved; seeds golden to reddish-brown, 0.8-1.2 mm long, pimply. [IFBC-E-flora]

Notes: Highly variable, often confused with C. beeringianum. [IFBC-E-flora]

Habitat / Range: Moist to dry coastal bluffs, meadows, rockslides, rocky slopes and forest openings in all vegetation zones; frequent throughout BC; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to NE, GA, NM and CA; Eurasia. [IFBC-E-flora]

Status: Exotic [E-flora]

Medicinal Uses
The plant is astringent[257]. A decoction of the plant has been used in the treatment of injuries and miscarriage[257]. A decoction is said to stop uterine bleeding and prevents the child from passing through the uterus[257].[PFAF] Dermatological aid; Gynecological aid. [Heaton, 2004]

Phytochemistry

Cerarvensin, 7-0-Glucoside, 4'-0-Glucoside, 2'-0-Glucoside[Andersen FCBA]

Cultivation & Propagation

  • Associations: Found in association with Festuca roemari in the San Juan Islands and south. "Also occurs in adjacent Gorgia Bsin of B.C." [Chappell,2006]
  • Aphids: Aphis cerastii found on subterranean parts of C. arvense in Germany. [Blackman AWHPS]
  • Remediation: Found to uptake and accumulate cadmium. [Phytorem2]

Cultivation
See the plants native habitat for ideas on its cultivation needs.[PFAF]

Propagation
Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in spring. The prostate shoots root freely as they spread[200], making division very simple[K].[PFAF]


Cerastium fontanum - Mouse-ear chickweed

Family: Caryophyllaceae (Pink family) [E-flora]

[IFBC-E-flora]

[E-flora]


Cerastium fontanum is a ANNUAL/PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft). It is in flower from Apr to June, and the seeds ripen from May to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil. [PFAF]

Identification[IFBC-E-flora]

Cultivation
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The subspecies C. fontanum grandiflorum is an annual, though subspecies C. fontanum vulgare is a short-lived perennial[266]. It is likely to require a moist soil in light shade.[PFAF]

Propagation
Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in spring might be possible.[PFAF]

Edible Uses

Leaves  

Leaves - raw or cooked[177]. [PFAF]

Leaves & Young Stems  

Leaves and young stems - cooked[105]. [PFAF]

Other Uses

Candidate plant for use in phytoremediation of radionuclides. [Gupta RCRTP]


Cerastium semidecandrum - little chickweed

Family: Caryophyllaceae (Pink family) [E-flora]

[IFBC-E-flora]

[E-flora]

Identification[IFBC-E-flora]

[IFBC-E-flora]

Edible Uses

Young Plant 

Young plant - cooked[105, 177]. Best used before it flowers[61]. [PFAF]
Greens of Cerastium semidecandrum [Turner&Kuhnlein]



Cerastium semidecandrum is a ANNUAL growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in). It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, self.The plant is self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. [PFAF]

[E-flora]

References