CHICKWEED

Life Cycle and Description: Common chickweed (Stellaria media) is a winter annual broadleaf weed that commonly infests thin or dormant lawn areas. It germinates in the fall, grows during the winter and produces seed from spring to early summer, then dies.

You can identify common chickweed by its flat, mat-forming growth habit and small egg- to football-shaped leaves that are arranged in pairs. The stems have a single line of hairs running along their length. Small clusters of white, five-petaled flowers occur at the ends of stems in the spring. Common chickweed reproduces by seed and creeping stems.

Sticky chickweed (Cerastium glomeratum), or mouse-ear chickweed, is a mat-forming branched winter annual with fuzzy, opposite leaves that resemble mouse-ears, hence, the common name. The stems are also covered with dense hairs. The white flowers are arranged in clusters at the end of the stems. It is hairy, spreading or erect, and larger than common chickweed. The empty seed cases, which are almost transparent and have 10 teeth, are noticeable. Sticky chickweed reproduces by seed.

Perennial mouse-ear chickweed (Cerastium vulgatum) looks like sticky chickweed, but it has creeping stems that often take root to produce new plants. It reproduces by seed and by producing new plants from ground-hugging stems that root at the nodes (the point of attachment of the leaves).