WSU Whatcom County Extension

Integrated Pest Management for Blueberries

Common Chickweed

(Stellaria media)

Annual Broadleaves

 

Common Chickweed

 

Habitat Characteristics

A common weed, chickweed thrives on moist, shady sites with nutrient-rich soils.

 

Identification

This weed is generally seen as forming creeping mats along the ground. The leaves are rounded, bright green, and hairless, reaching up to an inch in length. They occur in opposite pairs along the stems. A band of hairs is seen on one side of the stem. The flowers are small (1/4 inch), white, and star-shaped with 5 petals that have notching so deep that they appear to be 10 petals. The root system is fibrous and shallow; the foliage is easily detached from the roots when pulled.

 

Common Chickweed

 

Life History

Reproduction is by seed and by creeping stems that root and the nodes. One to two generations can be produced each year. Seeds germinate in fall or winter. Flowering occurs throughout the growing season. Seeds are produced in summer through winter in mild regions.

 

Management

Cultural Techniques

     - Mulching in the summer will discourage seeds from germinating

     - Competition from ground covers will reduce seed germination and subsequent weed establishment.

     - Dig out mats, cultivate or hand pull

Chemical Techniques

     - See Herbicide Efficacy Table (pdf)

 

Web References

USDA – NRCS Plant Profile, Common Chickweed
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=STME2&photoID=stme2_002_avp.tif

University of California IPM, Weed Gallery, Common Chickweed
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/WEEDS/common_chickweed.html

Invasive Species, The Source for Information and Images of Invasive & Exotic Species, Chickweed
http://www.invasive.org/browse/subject.cfm?sub=3077

B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Common Chickweed
http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/weedguid/chickwd.htm

Weeds B.C., Common Chickweed
http://www.weedsbc.ca/weed_desc/com_chick.html

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WSU Whatcom County Extension • 1000 N. Forest St., Bellingham, WA 98225 • (360) 778-5800 • whatcom@wsu.edu