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

Stellaria media (L.) Vill.
common chickweed (common starwort)
Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Kevin Newell  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #5810)

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Distribution of Stellaria media
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a slender rhizome; stems decumbent, rooting nodally, hairy in longitudinal lines, several, branched, often matted, 7-50 cm long.
basal leaves lacking; stem leaves opposite, stalked below, unstalked above, egg-shaped to elliptic, 0.5-4.5 cm long, 0.5-1.5 mm wide, fleshy, hairy; stipules lacking.
Inflorescence of single flowers in the leaf axils or terminal flowers in an open cluster; petals 5, white, deeply 2-cleft, 2-3 mm long; sepals 5, oblong-lanceolate, 3-4.5 mm long, hairy and more or less glandular.
Capsules straw-coloured, egg-shaped, 4-5 mm long, 6-valved; seeds about 0.9-1.3 mm long, reddish-brown, minutely roughened.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic waste places, fields and gardens in the lowland and montane zones; frequent in S BC; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Stellaria media

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) 24 489 2058
Slope Gradient (%) 0 23 84
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
24 164 340
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 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: CDF(23), CWH(2), ESSF(2), ICH(1), IDF(2), PP(2), SBS(6)


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