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

Cerastium fontanum Baumg.
Common Chickweed (common mouse-ear chickweed; mouse-ear chickweed)
Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Allan Carson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #11791)

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Distribution of Cerastium fontanum
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Cerastium fontanum ssp. vulgare

Species Information

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Biennial or short-lived perennial herb from taproots and often from sprawling, nodally-rooting branches; forming clumps to 40 cm across; stems decumbent to erect, stiff-hairy and glandular to glandular-hairy, 5-40 cm tall/long.
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves opposite, oblanceolate or spoon-shaped, 7-25 mm long and 2-10 mm wide, 1-nerved, coarsely hairy; leaves of the flowering stems larger, up to 4 cm long and 15 mm wide; stipules lacking.
Inflorescence several to many in an open cluster; flower stalks generally stiff-hairy; petals 5, white, 2-cleft, 5-7 mm long; sepals 5, 4-7 mm long, stiff-hairy, papery-margined.
Capsules cylindric, 7-10 mm long, 10-valved; seeds 0.6-0.8 mm long, reddish-brown.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry roadsides, waste places, gardens and fields in the lowland, steppe and lower montane zones; common in all but NC and NE BC; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Cerastium fontanum

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) 61 425 1210
Slope Gradient (%) 0 6 45
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
4 265 330
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 7
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: CWH(25), ICH(1), IDF(3), PP(3), SBPS(2), SBS(2)

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References