E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Cerastium arvense L.
field chickweed
Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Brian Klinkenberg  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #20099)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Cerastium arvense
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Species Information

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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.
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.
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.
Capsules cylindric, 6-10 mm long, 10-valved; seeds golden to reddish-brown, 0.8-1.2 mm long, pimply.
Highly variable, often confused with C. beeringianum.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Cerastium arvense

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 2 1349 2562
Slope Gradient (%) 0 27 210
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 194 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(63), BAFA(25), BG(23), BWBS(13), CDF(40), CWH(4), ESSF(182), ICH(12), IDF(187), IMA(4), MH(1), MS(43), PP(20), SBPS(5), SBS(44), SWB(8)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References