Cerastium arvense L.
field chickweed
Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Brian Klinkenberg     (Photo ID #20099)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Cerastium arvense
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


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)
1349 2 2562
Slope Gradient (%)
27 0 210

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

194 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# 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)

Habitat and 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia